By Marc Esquivel Posted October 12, 2011
Proposed Division 1-A
Churchill County (1314)
South Tahoe (1143)
Spring Creek (953)
Faith Lutheran (1278)
Pahrump Valley (1266)
Boulder City (762)
Desert Pines (3160)
Moapa Valley (642)
Sunrise Mountain (2323)
Virgin Valley (602)
What is it that makes a school 4A or 3A, or any “A” for that matter? Most of you know that student population defines what division a school is placed in for athletics, well, at least that’s how the NIAA used to divide schools into divisions. As of the 2012-2013 school year, the student population will have almost nothing to do with the determination of what division a school is placed under.
The 2012-2013 school year will be the start of the splitting of the 4A and the abolishment of the 3A. Due to the fact that there are huge differences in athleticism between schools in Vegas, southern schools are expressing their “need” for a realignment. This “need” for a realignment comes from the egotistic 4A schools that don’t want to be referred to as 3A schools. So the proposed “solution” to this “problem” is to abolish the traditional 4A, 3A classification of leagues that Nevada athletics have used for the entire history of Nevada high school athletics.
Well, seeing that there are only three teams in the Southern 3A, why not have the less competitive teams of the Southern 4A come down to the 3A and avoid all this realignment talk? If a team can’t compete with the other teams in its conference, why should the whole state have to realign the two major conferences of Nevada athletics? Just because these “big bad” 4A schools don’t want to be referred to as 3A, when in actuality they most likely can’t compete with the elite teams of the 3A, that doesn’t mean that the NIAA needs to rush to their crying baby of a division known as the Southern 4A every time that it wants something.
Besides the fact that realigning the leagues would break the tradition of the normal 3A and 4A classifications, the Division I-A would give former 4A schools a huge advantage over the rest of the 3A schools as far as the number of athletes participating in sports is concerned. For example, Lowry has roughly 950 hundred students enrolled at the school. Out of those 950 or so students attending the school, an approximate 385 students participated in sports throughout the course of last year. That means that 40.5% of students at Lowry participate in sports at the school. If you take this percentage and apply it to a school being put into the same division as Lowry, say Clark High School (whose student enrollment is 2666), that number of athletes almost triples, even half of Lowry’s participation rate applied to Clark’s student population gives Clark an approximate 200 athlete advantage over Lowry. So while Lowry will be able to compete in team sports like football and basketball, it will be extremely hard to for the school to win an individual sport such as track or swimming simply because of how many more athletes those schools happen to have competing for them.
So am I pro realignment? No, not really, I am not for the changing of the names of conferences that have been around since my parents were in high school. I am not for throwing these former 4A schools a bone by realigning them with teams they might be able to compete with. So, in the words of the great fictional anchorman Ron Burgundy, “Stay classy, Clark County,” we’ll see you and your big egos next year in Division 1-A.