Class size expected to change to 6A; affects activities, athletics

Mitch Sundquist, Staff Writer

On Sept. 20, administrators counted the number of students currently enrolled at Blue Valley. One week later, Sept. 27, BV will find out whether they will be 5A or 6A for all athletics and activities this year, excluding football.
Schools are separated into classes to even out the competition.
The 32 schools with the highest enrollments are put into 6A, the next 32 into 5A and 4A through 1A are divided into classes of 64 schools.
Although class may affect activities and athletics, it doesn’t come into play until State competitions.
“Regionals and tournaments are going to be at different sites when you’re in 6A compared to 5A,” Athletic Director Matt Ortman said.
Schools are permitted to play other schools outside of their class during the regular season, but may only play schools in their class during State tournament competition.
Football is the only sport with the possibility of being in a different class than other sports in a school.
This year, football plays in 5A but will be 6A next year, regardless of the student count this year, because it takes the count into effect every two years.
Football player senior Ryan McNerlin said there is usually better competition among 5A schools, but being in 6A has its advantages.
“I would prefer playing in 6A because it’s more of a reward to win it all,” McNerlin said. “You can say you’re the best team in Kansas no matter what.”
Athletics are not the only activities affected by class. It also determines which schools the non-athletic activities, such as debate, forensics and band, will compete against.
Senior Asim Zaidi, a member of the Scholars’ Bowl team, said the competition will be tougher in 6A.
“Six-A is more competitive because when you have bigger schools, you’re likely to have smarter kids,” he said.
The Scholars’ Bowl team went undefeated in Regional and State competition last year, but Zaidi said he thinks there will be more of a challenge this year.
“More 6A schools compete at a high level,” he said.
Other than the competition, there is only a slight difference between class 5A and 6A. Regionals and sub-state tournaments are set up differently between the two classes.
Despite the differences in the class, the State tournaments are held on the same dates.