By Michael Swisher
Enid News and Eagle
OKLAHOMA CITY — —
Enid High School’s chances of competing for future state football championships took a blow Wednesday after the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association board of directors shot down a proposal that would have created a Class 7A in football.
The motion, which had garnered support in several circles, failed by a 7-6 vote. It was followed by a motion to send the proposal back to the Constitution and Rules Review Committee for further review and discussion.
“I think it’s a topic long overdue for discussion, but I think we need to look at just more than football,” said David Morton, Bishop McGuinness High School principal, one of the board members who voted against sending the proposal to a vote.
He also made a motion to keep the proposal alive, by sending it back for further discussion. That motion was approved 6-5 with two abstentions.
Put before the board at its October meeting, the proposal would have split the current 32-team Class 6A into two 16-team classes, essentially creating a Class 7A in order to help alleviate the perceived inequity at the top of the class.
That proposal would have kept Enid in Class 6A, away from what is commonly referred to as “The Big Four,” Broken Arrow, Union, Jenks and Owasso.
Enid currently sits at No. 19 on the 2012-13 chart for Average Daily Membership (ADM) with just over 1,678 students.
Broken Arrow is the largest school with an ADM of more than 4,586 students. Union has over 4,200 students and Jenks more than 3,000. Owasso sits fourth with 2,628 before the numbers start to fall off considerably.
Booker T. Washington is the smallest 6A school with an ADM of just over 1,287 students.
Jenks and Union have combined to win the last 17 state football championships.
Enid’s most recent championship came in 1983, when it defeated Tulsa Booker T. Washington. The Plainsmen made the finals in 2006, losing to Jenks.
“I think something has to be done because of the incredible disparity that exists in 6A right now,” Morton said.
However, Morton said, football shouldn’t be the only sport considered. The proposal before the board affected only football.
“My concern is that this board will be back in a short period of time talking about basketball and then about baseball and then track and field,” Morton said. “It just won’t stop.”
Yukon Schools Superintendent Bill Denton, chairman of the Constitution and Rules Review Committee — which meets every five years and makes a number of porposals to the board — made the motion to send the proposal to a vote of the membership. That vote would have only included the 32 current 6A schools.
“I think the consensus of the committee is there is an understanding there are some equity issues that need to somehow be addressed,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll go back to the table and try to find a solution that seems to be workable.”
Denton said a number of solutions were discussed by the committee before making the current recommendation and felt the current one could have been “tweaked some and found to be a viable option for everybody.”
“Apparently there is still too much concern about the unknown and what impact it’s going to have,” Denton said.
However, Denton said, the committee will continue to work for a solution.
“Maybe there’s an option out there that we can continue to look at,” he said.
The board’s vote to further review the proposal means the Constitution and Rules Review Committee will reconvene in the future after ample time is given to athletic directors and superintendents to provide more input.
OSSAA Associate Dir-
ector David Jackson, who is in charge of football, said there is no specific timetable for the committee to reconvene.