The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

November 10, 2012

6A football split would make sense

Are the days of the Jenks/Union Evil Empire coming to an end? Probably not, but they may find themselves in a different galaxy, opening up a world of championship possibilities for other schools such as Enid.

 A proposal presented Wednesday to Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association’s Board of Directors that would add Class 7A to high school football is getting a lot attention and may actually come to fruition.

“I’m hearing positive things about it, and that it may happen,” said Enid head coach Steve Chard.

The imbalance in what currently is the state’s highest classification (6A), where a handful of schools with robust enrollments have dominated the classification, could finally be resolved if the OSSAA’s Board of Directors takes up and approves the proposal at its December meeting.

If the Board approves it, the proposal would then go to a full vote of all 32 current members of 6A, including Enid. If it receives approval from a majority of the 6A schools, the new classification likely would be instituted in 2014 when new districts are established.

The proposal would send the 16 schools in 6A with the highest enrollments into 7A, while the remaining 16 would retain 6A status. Enid currently is 19th in enrollment in 6A and, under the proposal, would remain in 6A.

Both 6A and the proposed 7A would consist of two eight-team districts with 12 teams making the playoffs. District winners and runners-up would receive first-round byes.

The schools that would make the move to 7A would come from east schools Tulsa Union, Jenks, Broken Arrow and Owasso (the four largest) and the remaining 12 from the Oklahoma City metro area.

The 6A championship has been won by either Jenks or Union every year since 1996. Broken Arrow has the largest enrollment (4,586), followed by Union (4,237), Jenks (3,077) and Owasso (2,628). Enid has an enrollment of 1,678. The smallest school, in terms of enrollment, among current 6A members is Tulsa Washington with 1,287 students, or 72 percent fewer students than Broken Arrow.

It’s a ridiculous situation that has been crying for a resolution, but with the Tulsa area school systems not willing to build more schools to accommodate their burgeoning populations (something OKC area schools have done), there has been little hope for a solution until potentially now as it is felt that most 6A schools would approve the proposal.

It’s a plan Chard endorses. The Plainsmen have not won a state championship since 1983 and made it to the finals in 2006, falling to Jenks 28-7.

“I think you have to be careful about overreacting to it, but obviously the chance to win a title would be a more reasonable goal than it’s been, and I don’t think that’s a cop-out because there is no discrepancy enrollment-wise in any other class except ours (6A),” Chard said.

The Plainsmen head coach compares the proposal to a similar system in use in Texas where the top class is divided into two divisions for playoffs.

“That’s all we’re trying to do is balance it by enrollment,” said Chard, who believes there would be sufficient support among 6A schools if the proposal comes to a vote

“It’s a good, proactive move,” he said. “I hope it works out. I think there is good support for it and the reason some of the big dogs aren’t going to have a problem with it is because they are going to get a bye. I think it’s a win-win. Nobody is going to cry that’s it watered down anyway because all Union and Jenks have done is beat other, so that probably won’t change a lot.”

But it will give teams, especially those in the lower half of enrollment in 6A, some hope and avoid being hopelessly overmatched in district contests.

“I have no complaint about how it’s been, because nobody had a real good example of what to do,” Chard said. “There hadn’t really been a workable proposal that addressed it. It (the current proposal) will squeeze the numbers so you don’t have quite the discrepancy you have when Enid or Putnam City West or even Midwest City is playing Broken Arrow and you have a 4,000 student discrepancy. That’s comical.”

And he believes the plan will offer teams a chance to focus on a title as a realistic goal.

“It is disheartening on the east side to know if you don’t finish 1-2 every year you are playing Broken Arrow or Jenks in the first round, “ Chard said. “For guys like us and Bartlesville and Ponca City, it would not be so deflating to look at the season. It’s not going to hurt anybody. I think it’s a real neat idea and it’s only fair.”

Fairness and 6A football?  What an odd combination. They may finally be on to something here.

Text Only
Sports
  • Devonte Fields TCU’s Fields investigated for alleged assault

    TCU suspended defensive end Devonte Fields on Tuesday pending the results of a police investigation into whether he punched a former girlfriend in the head and threatened her with a gun while shouting, “I should blast you!”

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Minors lose in first round

    Wren Perry and Garrett Scudder combined for a two-hitter as the D-Bats Gallegos of Dallas run-ruled the Enid Minors 8-0 in six innings in the first round of the South Plains Regional Tuesday at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.

    July 22, 2014

  • Baseballpicture.jpg Majors open regional with Cherry Creek

    The Enid Majors (36-12) enter the Connie Mack South Plains Regional Tournament today at David Allen Memorial Ballpark coming off one of their best seasons in the past few years. Now, the pressure is on as they face Cherry Creek, Colo.,at 8:15 tonight.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Enid Event Center_28_BV.jpg Ballpark to observe Military Appreciation Night

    David Allen Memorial Ballpark hosts Military Appreciation Night tonight during the 6 and 8:15 games of the Connie Mack South Plains Regional Tournament.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Rory McIlroy: There's a new tiger in town

    His father introduced him to the game when he was small, putting a golf club in his hand when he was barely past the toddler stage.
    He fell in love with it and worked hard, improving steadily. He became a terrific junior player and quickly improved.
    He was touted as the next big thing and didn’t disappoint.
    Now, at the tender age of 25, he is a multiple major champion.
    Tiger Woods? Yes, once upon a tee time. But now those words are being spoken about Rory McIlroy.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big 12 Media Days.jpg Gundy has big plans for Hill

    The picture became a little clearer Monday of how Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year Tyreek Hill will be utilized in the Oklahoma State offense.
    And the picture is rather wide.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Briles: Baylor swinging for the fences

    Coach Art Briles and Baylor arrived at Big 12 football media days as defending champions for the first time.
    Briles has a slightly different take on the Bears’ newfound standing.

    July 21, 2014

  • Radio-TV for 7-22-14

    July 21, 2014

  • Big12.jpg Big 12 commissioner says 'change is coming' in college sports

    That was the theme of Monday's state of the conference speech by Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby on the first day of Big 12 Football Media Days.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Worrell takes 8th at Firekeeper Classic

    July 20, 2014

Click here for NASCAR headlines
Sports Photos


Enid News & Eagle sports photos from the month of February 2014. Enjoy all the ENE photos with full access at http://enidnews.smugmug.com.