Newman: Class 6A may return to Colorado high school football, but it won’t solve sport’s inequity issues

Class 6A may be coming to Colorado high school football, but don’t count on it bringing much-needed parity to the big-school competition within the state.

CHSAA’s football committee voted to recommend the addition of an eighth class in its annual meeting Thursday. While the change wouldn’t go into effect until 2022 and is subject to the approval of the Legislative Council, it would re-organize the state’s 287 football programs from seven classes of roughly 42 teams, to eight classes of roughly 36 teams.

Assistant commissioner Adam Bright said the 6A proposal is rooted in CHSAA’s desire to “figure out some type of system that can help us place programs where they need to be, where they’re competing against like programs (in terms of talent).”

While Bright and the committee are right in their assessment that enrollment figures are an antiquated measure for determining classes, where the Class 6A proposal goes wrong is it does nothing to fix inequity at the big-school level.

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“Coming from a 5A perspective, you’re going to have your top teams year-in and year-out who (have always) been there,” Regis Jesuit coach Danny Filleman said at the virtual meeting. “But based on the criteria, who’s going to qualify for 6A?

“… In 6A, it’s going to be super-tough to get 36 teams that are ‘like’ teams and are similar programs. Because there’s just not 36 teams (that can compete). In the middle of the pack, yeah there’s going to be a lot of like teams grouped together. The upper end? I don’t think you’re going to find it. There’s going to be a huge gap from the top 6A team to the bottom 6A team… that would be the biggest gap there is out of all levels.”

Consider the current state of 5A, where defending champion Cherry Creek and powerhouse Valor Christian headline a top-heavy classification in which only a handful of teams are realistically in the title hunt every year. A similar disparity is also seen in 4A — where a select few programs (i.e. Pine Creek, Pueblo South, Loveland) dominate annually — and in the lower classes as well.

“Our biggest problem across the …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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