By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
When the IHSAA announced the new classifications for six sports on Tuesday, the biggest local impact was on a school that didn’t move.
When it was revealed that football would have six classes instead of the current five, attention fell on Anderson High School because projections on where that line would be drawn was going to hit close to where that school’s numbers fell.
But it turns out that the Indians football team will remain in 5A — by just 51 students.
Lafayette Jefferson is the smallest 6A football school with 1,935 students. North Vigo in Terre Haute is the largest 5A with 1,929. Anderson is the fifth largest 5A with 1,884.
“I’m happy we stayed in 5A,” said Anderson football coach Randy Albano. “In 5A, there’s only about 40 students between the largest and smallest schools in that class. In 6A, there’s over 2,000 difference.”
Ben Davis is the largest school in the state at 4,687.
“When I coached at Highland we were always at the bottom of the enrollment in 5A,” said Albano.
But for Anderson, the trick now is what other teams will be placed in the same sectional with the Indians.
“It will be interesting to see where they send us,” said Albano. “We could go north toward Fort Wayne or west toward Lafayette or south toward Indianapolis. The sectional alignment will be a big thing for us.”
Jimmie Howell, Lapel’s athletic director and boys basketball coach, is a member of the IHSAA Executive Committee that is responsible for organizing and directing state tournaments.
“I think we will meet the first or second weekend in April,” he said. “I would think by the third or fourth week in April we’ll have an idea who is going where.”
The lone area team that did move in any of the sports was Lapel. The Bulldogs’ football team moved from 1A to 2A. Lapel’s 445 students is not significantly larger than the smallest school put in that class for football because of enrollment. Scecina and Lafayette Central Catholic are in 2A by the IHSAA Success Factor.
But Cloverdale is otherwise the smallest in 2A at 408 students.
I thought we would be 2A the last time they did this,” said Howell of the reclassification of two years ago. “We already play a very good 2A schedule for anywhere.”
He thinks the sectional alignment could turn out to be good for the Bulldogs.
“My hope is that we end up with schools that are more our rivals like Alexandria and Frankton,” said Howell. “We don’t have too much in common with the teams we’re in with now.”