Potential 11AAA football class gaining momentumThe South Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors will discuss the addition of a fourth 11-man football class at a January meeting.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
The South Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors will discuss the addition of a fourth 11-man football class at a January meeting.
A proposal to include an 11AAA football class starting with the 2013 school year came from input at a Wednesday SDHSAA board meeting in Pierre. If passed, the classifications would be in effect for at least the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years.
The eight schools in South Dakota with the highest ADMs — an acronym for “average daily membership,” or the total number of freshmen, sophomores and juniors at a high school — would compete in 11AAA. The next eight schools based on ADMs would compete in 11AA.
“It’s exciting that it’s being discussed,” Mitchell coach Kent VanOverschelde said. “I give people credit who are leading the charge. I think it will be good for football in South Dakota.”
According to the proposal, the teams that would play in 11AAA would be, in order of ADMs, 1. Sioux Falls Washington; 2. Sioux Falls Roosevelt; 3. Rapid City Central; 4. Sioux Falls Lincoln; 5. Rapid City Stevens; 6. Aberdeen; 7. Watertown; and 8. Brandon Valley.
The teams that would compete in 11AA would be 1. Yankton; 2. Pierre; 3. Mitchell; 4. Brookings; 5. Sioux Falls O’Gorman; 6. Huron; 7. Sturgis; 8. Douglas.
After the first 16 schools are classified, the rest of the teams in 11-man football would be split with the upper half in Class 11A and the lower half in Class 11B.
Any school is allowed to petition up to the next classification. If a school petitions from 11AA to 11AAA, the smallest 11AAA school would drop to 11AA. The same goes for any other 11-man team that petitions up.
VanOverschelde said he hopes there will be a way to keep the Eastern South Dakota Conference if the new classifications are adopted. Currently, all eight ESD schools play each other once a year, and an ESD champion is crowned at the end of the season. With the new proposal, it’s likely that all of the 11AAA schools would have to play each other at least once, eliminating a round-robin schedule.
“One thing we need to look at doing is maintaining the ESD Conference,” he said. “When you change, you have to give up something, but I don’t know what that is yet.”
The eight ESD schools are Mitchell, Yankton, Brookings, Pierre, Watertown, Aberdeen, Huron and Brandon Valley.
According to the proposal, the ADM cutoff between 11-man football and 9-man football would be 112.5, and there would be three 9-man classes, just as there are today.