A new football postseason format released this week by the Kansas State High School Activites Association has changed the landscape for Bishop Miege, Piper, Spring Hill, Tonganoxie and other Class 4A schools.
Class 4A, which will no longer be split across two divisions, will be like classes 6A and 5A with a 32-team classification system starting next season that seeds schools 1-16 for East and West brackets. Those brackets will be filled out by KSHSAA after Week 8, and the winners of those matchups will determine which schools reach the state tournament.
The new system is a departure from the current district format in Kansas Class 4A, wherein schools schedule district games the last three weeks of the season to determine the top two schools from the district that will play in the state tournament. Bishop Miege, De Soto, Eudora and Spring Hill are in their second year playing in District 2.
Changes for football classifications based on the latest enrollment figures of KSHSAA schools were announced Sept. 26.
The Kansas Class 4A range of enrollments goes from 618-329. The East portion of the classification will include Bonner Springs (581), Basehor-Linwood (568), Spring Hill (547), Bishop Miege (524), Paola (501), Tonganoxie (490), Piper (447), Louisburg (407) and Eudora (356).
De Soto’s student population was 719 this fall, so it will compete in Class 5A for the 2018-19 seasons.
“It’s trying to equalize the range,” Bishop Miege athletic director Mike Hubka said. “In 4A, it’s always been the one at the top is 2.5 or 3 times bigger than the (smaller schools). They’re trying to change that so it’s not as much of a size advantage.”
Classifications for non-football activites are determined on a yearly basis. Considering the current size of its student body, Bishop Miege could move up to Class 5A for other sports next year.
“We’re right in that group that could go up or down, depending on how enrollment is for next year,” Hubka said. “The freshman class will impact us. We’re on the edge with Spring Hill and a couple of others. We’ll just have to wait and see. Most of the coaches would like to go up to 5A.”
The complete list of district assignments is available at kshsaa.org.
Class 6A East
Gardner-Edgerton, Harmon, Wyandotte, Olathe East, Olathe North, Olathe Northwest, Olathe South, Blue Valley, Blue Valley North, Blue Valley Northwest, Blue Valley West, Shawnee Mission East, Shawnee Mission North, Shawnee Mission Northwest, Shawnee Mission South, Shawnee Mission West
Class 5A East
De Soto, Schlagle, Sumner Academy, Turner, Washington, Lansing, Leavenworth, St. James Academy, Olathe West, Blue Valley Southwest, St. Thomas Aquinas, Mill Valley, Shawnee Heights, Topeka-Highland Park, Topeka-Seaman, Topeka West
Class 4A East
Altamont-Labette County, Atchison, Baldwin, Basehor-Linwood, Bonner Springs, Chanute, Eudora, Fort Scott, Piper, Louisburg, Ottawa, Paola, Pittsburg, Bishop Miege, Spring Hill, Tonganoxie
Class 3A Districts
District 2: Burlington, Garnett-Anderson County, Girard, Iola, LaCygne-Prairie View, Osawatomie
District 3:– Bishop Ward, Meriden-Jefferson West, Perry-LeCompton, Santa-Fe Trail, Topeka-Hayden, Wellsville
Class 2A Districts
District 2: McLouth, Osage City, Oskaloosa, Pomona-West Franklin, Richmond-Central Heights, Silver Lake
District 3: Burlingame, Cottonwood Falls-Chase County, Lebo, Madison/Hamilton, Maranatha Christian Academy, Valley Falls