The 16 football programs of the future Class 6A Division I came together Thursday morning with a few key goals in deciding the two eight-team districts that will begin play a year from now.
Find an equitable balance of power.
Maintain traditional nondistrict rivalries.
As much as anyone could have hoped, the group was 3-for-3.
The districts broke down with two of the four Tulsa-area programs and six schools from the Oklahoma City metro in each district for the 2014-15 season.
One district will consist of Jenks, Broken Arrow, Norman, Yukon, Edmond Santa Fe, Edmond Memorial, Putnam City and Westmoore, with Tulsa Union, Owasso, Edmond North, Putnam City North, Norman North, Mustang, Southmoore and Moore in the other district.
“I thought it was as equitable as it could be,” Jenks coach Allan Trimble said. “If you're looking at it from a power ranking perspective, I thought the Oklahoma City area teams were divided well. Travel, to me, is even. Everybody's got to travel a little bit more, but it sounds like there's a pretty strong commitment to play their junior-varsity schedules, which is important.
“From what the dilemma was, I think it's been planned out about as good as we could make it.”
The district splits allow for traditional early season rivalry games like Jenks-Union, the Moore War, Norman's Crosstown Clash, Edlam and Yukon Mustang to remain during the nondistrict schedule.
“We worked really hard to have the balance of power, the geographics and natural rivalries maintained,” Yukon athletic director David Fisher said. “For instance, with us, we wanted to be able to keep Yukon-Mustang as a Week 1 game.
“That's a big game, not only for our kids and our community. But a lot of school districts around the state are run by gate receipts. If you lose a game like that, you're going to struggle with your budget.”
The districts will not become official until approved by the OSSAA, likely in October.
Class 6A Division II set its districts last week, along more traditional geographic boundaries.
The western district will be comprised of Choctaw, Enid, Lawton, Lawton Eisenhower, Midwest City, Putnam City West and Stillwater.
The eastern district will be comprised of Bartlesville, Bixby, Claremore, Muskogee, Ponca City, Sand Springs, Sapulpa and Tulsa Washington.
One topic that was only briefly discussed Thursday was the playoff structure for the new 6A divisions. Each division will have an eight-team playoff bracket, but the pairing process will primarily be handled by the OSSAA.
“That's one of the things that is uncharted territory right now,” Fisher said. “I can't speak for the OSSAA, but I'm not sure how far they've got into looking at the bracket and how it will be lined up between the two districts.
“You don't know where that will end up, but you like to think that the OSSAA will take some input from member schools when they do that.”