The most dominant sports program in Division I-A the past few seasons will be moving to the higher division.
Faith Lutheran will move to Division I at the beginning of the 2016 school year after the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association voted on June 24. Director of finances and officials for the NIAA Jay Beesmyer said the decision was unanimous.
“The board rifled through this decision and it’s good that Faith was OK with the decision,” Beesmyer said.
According to the NIAA, Faith Lutheran was moved back to Division I for two reasons: enrollment and performance in the Nevada Rubric, which is used to determine alignment for Division I and I-A schools in Southern Nevada.
Since Faith Lutheran is a private school, under the NIAA’s rules their enrollment is doubled and since their enrollment was 841 for the 2014-15 school year this put them over the ceiling of 1,200 students. Faith Lutheran surpassed the 149 points needed to move to Division I by scoring 204 points in the rubric.
According to Nevada Preps, in the three years the Crusaders have been in the Division I-A, they have won 16 state titles in Division I-A and they had six just last year.
The board also approved Division I-A to have 16 teams in the South, so this means they will need to replace Faith Lutheran after they leave, but the board has not discussed which Division I school that will be said Beesmyer.
The NIAA board, also voted to move from a two-year rubric cycle to a four-year rubric cycle for Southern Nevada’s Division I and I-A schools.
In addition, Moapa Valley, Virgin Valley, Boulder City and Pahrump Valley high schools will retain their status as protected schools due to enrollment numbers, which means regardless how the schools do in the rubric, they will not be moved up to Division I.
Football was also affected during this summer meeting. The board approved that heat acclimation will start on Aug. 5 instead of Aug. 8 for all NIAA schools, which increases the number of contact practice days from five to eight.