Classification method for football changing for 2018

    Classifications for 11-man and eight-man football will undergo a major change for the next two-year scheduling period.
    Chase County Activities Director Troy Hauxwell outlined the changes for the school board at their meeting Tuesday, Nov. 14.
    Presently, the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) determines the various classes by the total of the enrollment of students in grades 9, 10 and 11 in late September.
    The largest 28 schools went into Class A; the next largest 32 into Class B.
    Class C included the remainder of the schools playing 11-man football. The first half went into C1, the other half into C2.
    Chase County has been competing in C1 as one of the smallest schools in the class.
    Schools playing eight-man were divided into two classes, D1 and D2. Class D1 schools with more than 83 students in the three grades were ineligible for the state playoffs. However, schools that moved from 11-man to eight-man received a two-year eligibility waiver.
Boys enrollment only
    Hauxwell said the NSAA has adopted a new rule for football classification. Rather than being based on total 9-11 enrollment, the new standard will be the number of boys in grades 9-11.
    Schools with boys numbering 425 and above are now in Class A. Class B enrollment runs from 424 boys down to 160.
    Class C1 starts at 159 down to 70 and any 11-man schools with a count of 69 or lower will play in C2.
    Hauxwell was holding out hope the numbers would put Chase County into C2. For the September count, the number of boys stayed above the cutoff point with 70 boys.
    As a result, Chase County will be among the smallest four schools competing in C1, with Valentine, Lincoln Lutheran and Fillmore Central (Geneva). A total of 44 schools will compete in C1.
    Hauxwell said he has several issues with the change. Schools that used to compete in Class B will now drop down to C1 for the two-year classification period.
    That includes schools like Aurora (153 boys), Sidney (150) and Holdrege (138). Schools that used to be in Class B have the option to opt up a class.
    While Aurora’s coaches wanted to opt up to Class B, their board deadlocked 3-3 on the vote, keeping them in C1.
    Hauxwell wishes the NSAA could find a way to make the class splits more fair.
    He said contact rules complicate the scheduling of jayvee games. With just 33 kids out, he said some of those players play both jayvee and varsity.

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