The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

September 18, 2013

Pioneer going back to 8-man in 2014

ENID, Okla. — With Cement deciding to drop football for the 2013-14 seasons, Pioneer will drop down to Class B as it had requested, beginning in 2014, the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association announced.

Pioneer, with an ADM (Average Daily Memberhsip) of 141.21, goes from being No. 42 in a 57-team Class A to being the second largest school (next to Merritt at 144.07) in Class B.

“It’s been the buzz all week,’’ said Pioneer coach Kurt Myers. “It’s a good thing. We have a good eight-man tradition. People are going to be excited about it. It was a nice surprise for us.’’

Pioneer was in 8-man from 1988-2007, winning five state championships (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2001). The Mustangs lost to Morrison in the 2005 state finals

“We don’t know how long we’re going to be in Class B, but at least we know we’re in it for the next two years,’’ Myers said. “I think it will be a positive on how many kids we have out.’’

Pioneer, in the 20 years it was in Class B, went to the playoffs 17 times, including 15 straight years from 1992-006).

The Mustangs were 2-8 in their last season of 8-man. PHS was forced to move up to Class A in 2008 when  OSSAA dictated only 76 schools (40 Class B and 36 Class C) could play 8-man.

The best news, Myers said, is the renewal of rivalries with Waukomis and Garber. Of Pioneer’s eight district opponents in 2007, six still are in Class B.

Myers assumes the Mustangs will be sent west. With 10-team districts, Pioneer will only have to find one more opponent.

“I think our gate is going to be bigger,’’ Myers said. “It should have a positive affect all-around on the school’s program.’’

Myers said the focus still is on 2013. Pioneer went 2-8 last season, but was playing for a playoff berth the last week of the season.

“We’re not going to dwell on it,’’ Myers said. “We’ve got this year to worry about it. We owe that to our seniors to focus on this year. We’ll worry about next year, next year.’’

Covington-Douglas and Medford are the only current B-1 schools scheduled to drop to Class C. Kremlin-Hillsdale will be moving up from Class C to Class B. The Broncs were No. 40 at 88.65.

Cherokee, originally scheduled to go back to Class B,  now is the largest school in Class C with an ADM of 88.60, just .05 behind Kremlin-Hillsdale.

The ADM is determined not only by attendance on campus, but by enrollment of any students in an alternative school.

The OSSAA is scheduled to announce the district alignment for 2014-15 on Oct. 9.

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