MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

January 24, 2013

COLUMN: Solution for 6A dilemma on way to state board

What began as a proposal to split Class 6A football and create a 7A from the schools with the larger enrollments appears to be headed to a formal proposal on Feb. 6, but not a separate 7A.

Football coaches in the state’s top classification got together privately a couple of weeks ago and came up with a couple ideas.

The one that apparently that came out of that is one that will create two divisions out of Class 6A, keeping the same basic district structure but sending the top two teams in terms of enrollment regardless of finish within the top four places to a Division I bracket and the other two into Division II. There was also discussion of an additional couple of playoff teams per district, but apparently that idea didn’t have as much support, but what emerges will avoid some of the potential problems of scheduling caused in a clean split.

If the final proposal to be presented by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association’s Constitution and Rules Review Committee gets board approval, the measure would only need a simple majority vote among the 6A membership and could go into effect when districts and classifications are reset in July.

If the proposal does not add more teams, it would reduce the 6A postseason by a round, making it a three-week process. Such a proposal does not address the same disparity of enrollment factor in other sports. Broken Arrow (4,586.21 average daily membership) and Union (4,237.14) are twice the enrollment of 24 of the 32 6A schools including Muskogee (1,540.85). Eleven of the schools are half of Jenks (3,077), third on the list. But clearly the loudest voices have come from football and not, say, a sport like slowpitch softball, where Fort Gibson (586.98) has to compete with these folks.

Miller’s time

Tahlequah girls cross country coach Elzy Miller was named Oklahoma Track Coaches Association Cross Country Coach of the Year this past weekend coming off a season in which his top runner (Jessica Hembree) won her third state championship and his team was runners-up. It’s his third such honor but first since 1987.

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