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SDHSAA-Football Classification Study

SDHSAA-Football Classification Study

Shakeup could be coming to the state's football classes


Zach Nelson - KCCR Radio - December 5, 2019

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - South Dakota's high school football teams could be going after fewer state titles in a couple of years.

The state's Football Advisory Board has put together a proposal to cut the number of football classes in the state from seven to five starting in 2021.

There would be three classes of 11-man football and two classes of nine-man. Class 11AA would have the 10 biggest schools, likely including all the public schools from Sioux Falls and O'Gorman High School, the reigning state champions in the current 11AAA class.

The new Class 11A would consist of the 16 biggest schools not in the state's top class. The remaining 11-man teams would play in Class 11B. 

Nine-man football teams would be split evenly between Class 9A and Class 9B under the proposal. 

John Krogstrand, the assistant executive director of the South Dakota High School Activities Association, said the proposed changes were prompted by school growth and the planned Jefferson High School in Sioux Falls, among other factors.

"What the group felt was maybe not best for this school or that school, but was hopefully best for the association and football across the state as a whole," Krogstrand said.

The board also proposed a rule change for next season mandating a running clock in games where a team takes a 35-point lead in the second half. Calls for a mercy rule at all levels of South Dakota high school football intensified after Pierre T.F. Riggs beat Spearfish 103-0 in the 11AA playoffs in October.

The reclassification proposal will need the green light from state athletic directors and the SDHSAA's board of directors to go into effect.



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