The new math now applies to football, too

Thursday, February 5, 2004

The Missouri State High School Activities Association on Wednesday released the high school football district pairings, using the private school multiplier in the equation for the first time.

Depending on what happens in April, it may have been used for the last time.

The state association received a petition to place a recall on the multiplier, which adds 35 percent to the enrollment of private schools for classification purposes, on the April issues ballot. It was adopted in 2002 by a 266-186 vote of the MSHSAA's member high schools and applied to all sports but football beginning in the fall of 2002.

"I don't think it's equalized the playing field like people thought it might," said Notre Dame athletic director Darrin Scott. "It hasn't hurt any of the 5A private schools. There hasn't been much of a change in who has won state championships.

"In the next two or three years we'll probably come up with something better."

In the meantime, Notre Dame's 450 students translate to 607 in the state's enrollment figures. That will keep the school in Class 4 for basketball and Class 3 for baseball.

Due to the advanced scheduling in football, the multiplier was not introduced until the 2004 season. If the multiplier is recalled in April, that would apply for the 2006 football season.

The changes announced Wednesday in football affected Jackson and Perryville.

Class 5 District 1 with Jackson, the only Class 5 school in Southeast Missouri, was reconfigured along geographical lines that make more sense to Indians coach Carl Gross. Jackson's new poolmates are Rockwood Summit, Eureka and Seckman.

"It's not bad," Gross said. "It's a lot better than traveling to Parkway Central, Parkway West and Francis Howell. The schools are a lot closer to us."

He said the district should be similar in its competitive makeup. Eureka, a Class 4 team the last two years, has been one of the St. Louis area's consistent winners over the last 13 years. Jackson has played Rockwood Summit the last two seasons, losing to the Falcons last year. Seckman, the closest school with a campus in Imperial, is part of the Fox School District and has been a high school for less than 10 years. The Jaguars had their best season last fall at 4-6.

Perryville fell from Class 4 to Class 3 for the next two years. Athletic director Jeff Steffens said the school has "dropped enrollment by about 50, 60 students" to 785.

"It's fairly good news for us," he said of the reclassification. "We may find it a bit easier to compete with schools the same size as us."

Perryville's district foes will be New Madrid, Dexter and Kennett. Those three schools had been in the same district the last two years with Fredericktown as the fourth member.

Steffens said the school, a member of the Missouri Area Football Conference, has already hammered down nine weeks of the fall schedule.

"The conference schools got together in Farmington, and we got everything but Week 2 filled," he said. "Most of our teams in our area have Week 2 filled."

Steffens was planning to attend another meeting today at Lindbergh in St. Louis County, hoping to fill that spot on the schedule.

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