Marion and Hillsboro sports teams will begin seeing different competition in state and sub-state competitions.
The Kansas State High School Activities Association released new classifications for high school sports Friday. Marion will be reclassified in 2-1A, from 3A, for football in 2014 and 2015. Hillsboro will be reclassified in 2A for all sports other than football, effective immediately.
Football classifications are done for two years at a time and are based only on a headcount of freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Classifications for other sports are done a year at a time and count all high school students.
The change for Hillsboro affects even the fall sports already underway. Volleyball and cross-country will be affected, but not girls’ tennis.
“Tennis is 3-2-1A so it really doesn’t change anything there,” athletic director Robert Rempel said. “It will only affect sub-states, regionals, and state events. That will change some of our normal post-season travel and competition.”
Notably, it changes the location for state cross-country from Lawrence to Wamego. Emily Sechrist won the regular season race Sept. 14 at Wamego. The location for state volleyball will remain in Emporia.
Regional and sub-state locations hadn’t been announced yet Friday.
Some nearby 2A schools include Peabody-Burns, Inman, Herington, Chase County, Canton-Galva, and Remington.
“This is all pretty uncharted territory,” Marion football coach and athletic director Grant Thierolf said. “We will play whoever shows up on our schedule is all I know right now. We have meetings in the next two weeks that will give us more direction.”
There are 40 teams in 2-1A football, divided into eight districts, so Marion should have one more district game the next two years. However, 2-1A football has one fewer round of playoffs, with no bi-district level.
Because district games were already scheduled, Marion’s change in football classification will not change until 2014.
Some nearby schools they will compete with in 2-1A football include Chase County, Herington, Inman, Moundridge, and Remington.
Meanwhile, Goessel football moved up from eight-man division II to eight-man division I, and Centre football moved down from division I to division II.