By BRETT MARSHALL
Holcomb's Longhorns will return to Class 3A for football district competition during the next two-year cycle after classification announcements were released on Tuesday by the Kansas State High School Activities Association.
The Longhorns, while competing in Class 3A in all other sports the past two seasons, were Class 4A in football. Football classifications are based upon a school's current (as of Sept. 20) enrollment in grades 9-11 while classifications for all other sports are annually based on the school's enrollment for grades 9-12.
Holcomb's official enrollment was 247 for all grades and 191 for grades 9-11. Satanta was the only other school with a significant change, and the Indians are making the move from 11-man football to 8-man Division I for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. For the past two years, the Haskell County school has played two games each season — against Moscow and Ingalls — in 8-man games while maintaining its 11-man schedule in the Hi-Plains League.
The HPL will meet in October in Salina when all Kansas high schools meet to compile their schedules for the next two years. League by-laws currently prohibit teams from playing a full 8-man schedule. A league school can petition the HPL for a two-year grace period from that prohibition due in part that a school's enrollment may increase again in the next two years, thus allowing it to return to an 11-man schedule.
Football district assignments will be announced at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday by KSHSAA.
All other area schools retained their current classification: Garden City in 6A (1,976); Hugoton (295) and Ulysses (443) in 4A; Cimarron (188), Holcomb (247), Lakin (179) and Scott City (245) in 3A; Elkhart (129), Stanton County (120), Wichita County (124), Meade (145), Sublette (140) and Syracuse (114) in 2A; Deerfield (91), Dighton (70), Healy (28), Ingalls (69), South Gray (92), Moscow (55), Rolla (53), Satanta (86) and Greeley County (59) will be 1A in all other sports.
The breakdown for the 1A schools who are playing 8-man football are Divison I schools Deerfield (64), South Gray (76) and Satanta (65); Division II schools are Dighton (51), Ingalls (47), Moscow (40), Rolla (46) and Greeley County (42).
Classification enrollment breakdowns for all sports were Class 6A (1,289-2,308); Class 5A (720-1,281); Class 4A (258-717); Class 3A (162-254); Class 2A (99-158); Class 1A (14-99). Enrollment breakdowns for football classifications were Class 6A (1,016-1,801), Class 5A (564-1,005); Class 4A (197-564); Class 3A (120-195); Class 2-1A (69-118); 8-Man Division I (59-99); 8-Man Division II (25-58).