South Dakota adds Class AAA in football; creates new class for eight biggest schoolsThe South Dakota High School Activities Association finalized plans for a Class AAA in 11-man football during its Board of Directors meeting in Pierre Monday.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
The South Dakota High School Activities Association finalized plans for a Class AAA in 11-man football during its Board of Directors meeting in Pierre Monday.
The plan has been looked at for some time and will take place in the fall of 2013.
“Speaking for Mitchell and other schools our size, it gives us a bit more of a competitive advantage in the playoffs,” said Mitchell High School Athletic Director Geoff Gross.
Kernels football coach Kent VanOverschelde was excited about the news.
“Obviously, it puts our program in a situation where we can be successful,” VanOverschelde said. “I think that being able to create a competitive atmosphere will benefit the state.”
The SDHSAA voted 7-1 on the new setup that will separate the top eight schools into their own Class AAA. The idea started after many believed the Sioux Falls and other bigger schools were overpowering much of the state.
“Sioux Falls programs are top-notch and very competitive,” VanOverschelde said. “We’ll still have enough to compete with those schools (but) it will benefit the state and our program at Mitchell High School.”
Gross believes the change will help across the board.
“It’s a winning situation for the upper schools that have tended to separate themselves in the last decade,” he said. “It was a pretty common belief that things needed to change.”
The biggest issue that Gross was concerned about the switch was the state of the Eastern South Dakota Conference.
“That’s a big deal, it’s a conference that’s lasted for over 85 years,” he said. “(The plan) let us keep our ESD Conference and rivalries that we have there. I think it’s a positive situation.”
This fall teams will still compete in the three-class system in 11-man football.