High schools: Future of Class 6A football in schools' hands

6A will no longer be a 32-team class. It's future will include two 16-team divisions, each of which will have its own playoffs and own champion.
by Scott Wright Published: March 31, 2013
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photo - CLASS 6A HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: Jenks' Austin Martin (86) hoist the trophy for the Trojan fans during the Class 6A Oklahoma state championship football game between Norman North High School and Jenks High School at Boone Pickens Stadium on Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, in Stillwater, Okla.   Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
CLASS 6A HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: Jenks' Austin Martin (86) hoist the trophy for the Trojan fans during the Class 6A Oklahoma state championship football game between Norman North High School and Jenks High School at Boone Pickens Stadium on Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, in Stillwater, Okla. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

The disparity in school size for Class 6A is far greater than any other football class.

Class 6A's largest school, Broken Arrow, is 3.5 times larger than Tulsa Washington, the smallest school in the class.

The other football classes are in the neighborhood of a 2-to-1 ratio between the largest and smallest schools, or less. Class 4A's largest school is only about 1.3 times larger than the smallest.

If you don't like the idea of adding a ninth state championship trophy, that's a fair argument. But Class 6A isn't where the resolution lies. Condensing smaller classes, which have smaller disparity in school sizes, would be a better answer to that argument.

Only one of the two plans fully addresses the size disparity. Plan II will continue to put teams from the largest 16 in the same district with teams from the smallest 16. But the playoffs will still be split evenly, and districts will be better formed geographically, to keep travel minimized.

Plan I will likely add travel for many teams, but it will address safety concerns for the smaller schools, whose players are put in harm's way on the field far more often than those from the larger schools.

The OSSAA presented plans that address the major overlying concerns of all 32 schools in 6A — competition, safety and travel.

Early discussions with administrators suggest there is no clear favorite among the two plans, and it's likely to be a close vote.

Now, it's up to the school administrators to decide which of those issues they value most, and cast their votes to tell us what the future of 6A football will be.

by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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