Pahrump Valley High School could be moving to another classification-again.
The last realignment was done at the end of the 2016 spring season.
The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association’s board of control voted Thursday to create a new 5A classification, which will go into effect when realignment occurs for the 2018-2019 school year.
According to NIAA assistant director Donnie Nelson, whether or not the Trojans stay in the Class 3A will depend on two factors.
“Enrollment will protect the smaller rural schools,” he said. “There are three schools automatically protected, Boulder City, Virgin Valley and Moapa Valley. What will automatically keep Pahrump where they are is their enrollment. If Pahrump goes over 1,300 students then the rubric could send Pahrump to the 4A.”
The 5A was created so that elite sports schools could compete in their own division. Like schools that have dominated the league for years in football, for example, Bishop Gorman and Liberty.
In the current Northern Class 4A there are 12 schools. Nelson said these schools will vote this year whether or not to remain in the 4A or move as a block to the 5A.
“Just because the northern schools have complained about playing Bishop Gorman every year doesn’t mean they will automatically vote to remain in the Class 4A,” he said. “Whatever they do, they will do as a block.”
If the northern schools remain in the 4A, then there will be just a southern component of the 5A.
At the moment, the Class 3A is looking at 10 schools, 10 in the north and 10 in the south. The 4A is looking at 12 schools in the north and south, depending on which class the northern schools join.
“All leagues will be balanced between the north and the south,” Nelson said. “So if the 12 Class 4A Northern schools remain in the 4A then there will be 12 schools up north and 12 down south.”
He said there was one factor that made the balancing difficult and that was the factor that schools that are in the 5A for football need not be 5A in other sports.
“And you may have some schools that are 4A in all sports but football, where they want to be 5A in football,” Nelson said. “If that is the case we will balance the leagues so there are equal numbers of schools in the north and the south. Regardless, we aren’t afraid of what could happen, it just makes things difficult to balance.”
What they’re saying
Trojans wrestling coach Craig Rieger said there might not be too many changes in wrestling.
“The coaches are voting and putting together a proposal on really not changing,” he said. “The 4A and 5A schools would combine. No change. Wrestling does not need to change in my opinion.”
Trojans athletic director Larry Goins said that he feels the realignment was a good thing.
“I think that the realignment committee and the NIAA did a very good job with this,” Goins said. “It is just another step in the effort to create competitive balance and it is not easy. Their effort to embrace change and put it in a working format is admirable.
“We all know that football is the driving force for our schools and athletic programs. Making them separate is a big step. I believe that this will allow us to continue to improve our programs and to have some success, not only in football but in all sports.”
Finding balance is a concern, not just for the sport of football, but for all the sports.
“The next step is very important for us in that we get put in a league that will provide some balance in all sports,” the director said. “That is to say that all sports need to be competitive. Right now, football and basketball are very good but the other sports don’t always provide competitive teams.”
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