Possible enrollment increase may shift BV from 5A to 6A

Taylor Yeazel, Circulations Manager

With a possible increase of students next school year, BV could change divisions from 5A to 6A. All activities will change divisions with the exception of football because football has a two-year contract, and the other activities have one-year contracts.
On Sept. 20, a form will be sent to the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) with enrollment numbers for each grade. After the state receives the enrollments, the highest 32 enrollments in the state are 6A, the next 32 schools are 5A and the subsequent 64 are 4A, 3A and 2A. Any remaining schools are 1A.
This year’s range of enrollment for 6A was 1,309 students to 2,308 students, while 5A ranged from 722 students to 1,281 students. BV had 1,260 students as of Sept. 20 last year.
“We’re not the highest level 5A [school], but usually in the top three or four,” Athletic Director Bob Whitehead said. “Our enrollment, we think, is going to go up. We think it would be a good chance that we’ll be one of the top 32.”
BV was a 6A school before West opened and before Southwest opened. After both opened, BV changed divisions to a 5A school.
Whitehead said he didn’t expect a quick change back to 6A.
“I thought it would take us a little bit longer,” he said. “But you don’t know how the economy is going to do and you don’t know for sure how the enrollment is going to be.”
Whitehead said administration expects an increase of more than 100 students, but the number is unpredictable. Because the enrollment is tabulated next fall, a change in division will not be known until the end of September.
“Sometimes people say they’re going to one school and they go to another, and you don’t know how many people are going to transfer,” he said. “You don’t know for sure how many people are going to move in.”
Whether the division changes or not, activities and sports will still compete in the same league, but the sub State would be 5A rather than 6A.
Basketball and soccer player junior Kelsie Carpenter said she thinks a division change will provide more competition.
“It will be good for us to have more of a challenge with playing more teams,” she said. “I think it’ll make us work harder and come together more.”
Regardless of whether the division changes or not, Whitehead said he doesn’t think it’s better to be in one division or the other.
“Sometimes I hear people say you’d like to be in one class rather than the other,” he said. “It’s not like you have a choice. Obviously, if you have 2,308 students, that’s more people to choose from than if you have 1,200 students. You’d like to be, I think, at the top of the class rather than the bottom of the class, but if you’re a good speller, whether you’re at a 1A school or a 6A school, you’re still good. [Switching to a larger class] shouldn’t impact anything.”