Schools stay put as new classifications announced


By Travis Mounts

The new classifications for Kansas High Schools were announced on Friday, and all schools within the TSnews coverage area will remain in the classes they have been.
The announcement from the Kansas State High School Activities Association included the 2022-23 classifications for football, and the 2021 classifications for all other sports.
The new football classifications include some big changes in the lower classes, as Classes 3A and 2A will shrink from 48 schools per class down to 40. Class 1A will grow from 28 to 42 schools, which will mean big changes for that class when football season kicks off next year.
The proposal to change the number of schools in those classes was approved earlier this month.
That will impact Conway Springs, as the number of districts is expected to increase from the current four.
As reported in last week’s TSnews, reasons for increasing the number of teams in Class 1A included improving schedule flexibility and reducing travel. Three of Conway Springs’ district opponents are located more than 200 miles away, with two of them – Elkhart and Stanton County – being more than four hours away.
The Garden Plain Owls and Cheney Cardinals were potential candidates for changing classes for football, but both will remain where they are following the official student population counts on Sept. 20. Garden Plain is the third-smallest school in the new 2A football class with 129 students in grades 9-11, which is the count used for football. Only Horton and Maur Hill-Mount Academy in Atchison are smaller, with 128 students.
Cheney is the sixth-smallest school in 3A football at 189 students. Wellsville and Collegiate are the smallest 3A football schools, with grade 9-11 enrollment of 182. Clearwater remains one of the larger 3A schools.
The Goddard Lions have played in both 4A and 5A in recent years. The Lions will remain in 5A for football, but just barely. Goddard and Sumner Academy in Kansas City are the smallest 5A football schools with 677 students. Eisenhower is closer to the middle of the pack with 749 students in grades 9-11. Kansas City’s J.C. Harmon is the largest 5A school with 1,081 students. Only three schools in 5A top 1,000 students in grades 9-11.
Campus sits in the middle of 6A with 1,374 students in the lowest three grades.
At the other end of the spectrum, the combined Argonia-Attica Titans football team is in the middle of 8-man Div. I with 76 students in their combined grades 9-11. Next year, Caldwell and South Haven will combine their football teams like Argonia and Attica did, and will play in 8-man Div. I as South Sumner.
Eight-man Div. II will get smaller, going down to 42 teams. That is because 12 schools that have been playing 8-man football will move to the newly recognized 6-man division. With 26 teams, KSHSAA will award its first-ever State football championship in 6-man football.
KSHSAA’s classifications involve different numbers for all other sports and for activities like forensics, debate and music. These assignments are made each September for the current school year, and count students in grades 9-12.
Campus High School remains a mid-size 6A school with 1,772 students. Eisenhower (965) and Goddard (887) are in the middle of 5A. Clearwater is a smaller 4A school with 341 students; 4A schools range from 316 to 729 students.
Cheney is a mid-size 3A school with 250 students. Garden Plain is one of the largest 2A schools with 169 students; the largest school in the class has 173 students. Conway Springs is in the middle of 2A with 138 students.
Argonia is a smaller 1A school with 46 students in grades 9-12. Class 1A ranges from 12 students up to 106. Following the major realignment of a few years ago, 1A schools voted to split into two divisions for volleyball and basketball. There are 117 schools competing in 1A. Classes 2A and 3A have 64 schools each, while 4A, 5A and 6A have 64 teams each.
Clearwater and Conway Springs football teams are in different divisions than their other sports and activities. The Clearwater Indians are 3A for football and 4A for everything else. The Conway Springs Cardinals are 1A for football and 2A for everything else. Argonia competes as the Raiders in Class 1A, but teams with the Attica Bulldogs in football to compete together as the Titans in 8-man football.