The Official Student Media of Blue Valley North High School

THE NORTH STAR

The Official Student Media of Blue Valley North High School

THE NORTH STAR

The Official Student Media of Blue Valley North High School

THE NORTH STAR

Reclassified

Reclassified

It was recently announced that BVN football would be making the change from the 6A to 5A class. The 2023-24 reclassification showed a decrease in enrollment numbers, thus a new grouping for the next two years.

Many factors go into the reclassification process for football. Unlike other high school sports, the football regrouping happens every two years. The process that determines these rankings is known as “count day” by administrators and counselors alike. According to BVN athletic director Kelli Kurle, the counting process is meticulous and takes into account many factors.

“They only take a look at your freshman, sophomore, and junior class numbers. They don’t take a look at your senior class numbers for that,” Kurle said. “Right now we’re in a weird spot where our freshman and sophomore classes are smaller than we’ve ever had before.”

A change like this, both as it relates to enrollment and the reclassification to 5A, was not unprecedented for the BVN administration. Kurle notes that not only did they think this regrouping would occur, but they expected the drop-off.

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“We saw it coming,” Kurle said. “In fact, I thought we might go 5A with the last classification. It didn’t happen, but it’s something we have been talking about.”

While this change was something that Kurle had anticipated happening, head football coach Drew Hudgins was not expecting the move to 5A football. According to Hudgins, he was caught off guard when the classification was announced.

“I was very surprised,” Hudgins said. “I mean, it is my first year here, but I never thought that North had been 5A, at least not for a long time, so I was really surprised by the drop to 5A now.”

It is notable that at this time, football is the only sport making the move to 5A. However, other sports will be reassessed on a different basis. Kurle said that football’s unique nature of not including seniors in their count is one of the leading reasons football dropped and other sports have not.

Since this shift is unique to football, the biggest change will come during the playoffs. According to junior Owen Perkins, BVN’s pool of potential matchups during the playoffs and post-season will be the only notable difference as a result of moving to 5A.

“I think that [the playoffs] are probably going to be the biggest difference and just playing a lot of different schools [post-season],” Perkins said. “Obviously we still play a lot of familiar faces like Southwest, Blue Valley and Aquinas… but there’s going to be some different schools that we may get a chance to play like Mill Valley… It’s just a whole lot of new.”

One aspect of this change that will provide some familiarity for North is the other Eastern Kansas League teams joining 5A: Blue Valley, St. James Academy and St. Thomas Aquinas. In addition to this, with Southwest already being a member of the 5A Class, the EKL teams will take on this new grouping together. According to Hudgins, having the majority of EKL teams in 5A will provide a sense of normalcy in the upcoming years.

“Now there are four other league teams that are 5A with Aquinas, St. James, Southwest and Blue Valley,” Hudgins said. “The majority of the league is 5A, so we will have some familiar opponents there as well.”

One potential adversity that could be presented by this change is recruiting and the attraction of college coaches to athletes in 5A compared to 6A. The 6A title garners attention from college recruiters as it is the top tier of population and classification. That said, one could possibly anticipate a change in collegiate attention for athletes hoping to be scouted. However, Perkins believes that the drop to 5A will not have any impact on his ability to get recruited to play at the next level.

“If [college coaches] are going to find you, they are going to find you,” Perkins said. “I think that if we were moving conferences, that would be a bigger thing, but just moving to 5A isn’t the biggest deal.”

At the end of the day, Kurle believes that while the move to 5A is something new, BVN will return to the 6A classification in the next few years.

“The next time [the next reclassification] goes through, we’re projected to have a much bigger incoming freshman class … so potentially we will go back to 6A,” Kurle said. “But for right now we are at the top of 5A numbers-wise.”

For more information about the drop in enrollment, visit the story “Mind the Drop” by Paul Struby.

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About the Contributor
Anna Sandage, Social Media Editor
Anna Sandage, Social Media C0-Editor Anna Sandage is a junior and social media co-editor of “The North Star.” This is her second year on staff. She has covered sporting events and student life, and is interested in sports and photography. Outside of the newsroom, she is a part of Unified Sports, French NHS and Sources of Strength. She enjoys playing softball and spending time with her family. She is excited to be on staff and hopes to grow the BVN News social media pages. (Follow BVNNews on Instagram).

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