Wednesday, April 23, 2014
AUGUSTA — The Maine Principals’ Association football committee took the biggest step yet towards introducing a fourth class to Maine high school football, when it created its final proposal to go before the classification committee, then to the general membership of the MPA for a vote in March.
“I actually was expecting it to be a little more difficult,” Todd Livingston, athletic director at South Portland High School and committee chairman, said.
The MPA’s classification committee will look at the proposal and hear any appeals. A final vote will take place in late March, and if the proposal passes, high school football in Maine will have four classes for the 2013 season.
The proposal breaks the state’s 76 high school football team into four classes of two divisions each. Classes A, B, and C will each have two nine team divisions, while Class D will have two 11 team divisions.
Class A will be schools of enrollments greater than 850 students. Class B will be 650-849 students. Class C will feature schools of 460-599 students, while Class D will be schools with enrollments below 459.
The biggest change will be seen in Class A, where Portland, Deering, Cheverus and Windham, four schools that have competed in the West, will move to the East.
The committee accommodated requests from a number of schools to play down a class for competitive reasons. The schools that will play in a class lower than its enrollment dictates are Camden Hills (dropping from Class B to C), Nokomis (B to C), Mt. Ararat (A to B) and Ellsworth (B to D).
Mt. Ararat has struggled to compete in Eastern A in recent years, going winless in each of the last two seasons. The school asked the committee if it could play in Class C, but a two-class drop was deemed unprecedented, with the exception of schools in the developmental stage, such as Ellsworth. Instead, Mt. Ararat was placed in Class B West.
Three schools elected to petition up. Biddeford will continue to play in Class A West, while Wells and Mountain Valley will play in Class C West despite Class D enrollments.
With an odd number of teams in each division, all four classes will have to schedule crossover games, or have a bye week.
Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242