Coming into Tuesday’s NIAA fall sports realignment meeting, it seemed everyone knew what was on the agenda.
For the biggest class in the North, it was deciding whether certain sports should continue competing against Las Vegas at the Class 5A level.
If Northern sports weren’t going to compete at the top level (5A), those sports should drop to Class 4A in hopes for competitive balance at the state tournament.
Ideas were proposed, but movement was balked at.
Though there isn’t necessarily a timeliness factor to the decision — at least if it takes an extra week — the strain of continuing to drag on discussions for a decision that seemed inevitable showed.
Northern Nevada Class 5A Commissioner Bob LeVitt stood up at one point and spoke passionately that all the realignment committee was really discussing was “football, girls soccer and tennis.”
“We trusted in the work of this committee and this process,” said LeVitt. “I don’t see it as a proposal. I see it as the NIAA has provided this committee with some data to take into consideration with the respect to the alignment of the 5A North schools in a statewide competitive balance environment. The data says we can compete in the 5A in some sports. In other sports, it doesn’t look like we are competing in the 5A and maybe we’re a better fit in the 4A.”
The data wasn’t enough to convince the committee to make any drastic changes this week.
The realignment committee will meet again Wednesday in Las Vegas where the potential fall realignment slate will be discussed again.
Sierra Lutheran jumps into Class 2A
Sierra Lutheran High School will have plenty of new foes next fall as the Falcons were pulled up into Class 2A at Tuesday’s realignment meeting.
Athletic Director Billy McHenry petitioned for Sierra Lutheran to stay in Class 1A, but the petition was rejected.
The Class 1A and 2A realignment decisions were made entirely based on enrollment population and not the rubric that has been designed for classes 3A, 4A and 5A.
McHenry said after the decision he hoped that the Falcons could stay down in 1A, but wasn’t concerned that Sierra Lutheran would be outmatched in its new classification.
“I wanted to stay in the single A, but we are excited about the opportunities to be in the double A,” said McHenry. “I think all of our other athletic teams will be just fine.”
The one sport the Falcons will have to readjust is football where they competed at the 8-man level.
As of now, McHenry anticipates the Falcons will go independent in order to continue competing at the 8-man level since turnout wouldn’t have allowed Sierra Lutheran to compete in the 11-man football ranks this season.
Outside of football, all of the other Falcon fall athletic sports will compete in Class 2A next fall.
Other realignment news
There was some movement on an individual school basis for upper classification realignment.
Sparks, Wooster and North Valleys petitioned to remain in Class 3A for every fall sport except boys soccer, which was approved.
Hug will remain in Class 3A as well, but football as well as boys and girls soccer will move up to the largest classification in the North, which is still to be determined.