Wreck it for us, please.

The teams in Class AA.

Wreck it for us, please.

Postby heimer » Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:51 am

We hope you have enjoyed two thrilling state title games in the North Dakota "AA" football division in 2009 and 2010, with one decided in overtime, and the other on a field goal with three seconds left.

Apparently, the games have evoked some jealousy in the ranks of "AAA" coaches, and, if they get their way, you may not see it again.

North Dakota's four-class system of football, one that has worked incredibly well over almost two decades and has built an increased excitement and awareness of the game statewide, is under attack, and the proof can be found at the North Dakota High School Activities Association's website.

Class "AAA" coaches, unable to sit down with pencil, paper, and basic math to work out a schedule, are appealing for another increase in the class size, stating in a December, 2009 meeting of the football advisory committee that "AAA likes 16 for the number of schools in that division."

The biggest schools in North Dakota, driven by egotistical activities directors bent on making our state a mirror image of Minnesota, have already hijacked football, forcibly moving Devils Lake back to "AAA" in the interests of basic math, practicing reverse racism by allowing all native american schools to play down a class on the rationale of "free and reduced meals", and most recently, shrugging off the availability of the Alerus Center to cram four state title games into one day at the FargoDome.

I hope you like state title football with your eggs and bacon, and I hope nine-man coaches like the reward of taping ankles at 6:00 a.m. for guiding a team to a state championship game. Fargo certainly will love selling the extra hotel rooms fans will have to get since leaving for the games the day of will be an option only for the AA and AAA schools.

Despite the best efforts of the football committee, high school football is on course to resist destruction and have one of it's best seasons ever. About 10 of the 16 teams in the AA level have a legit chance at winning a conference, A schools with nine-man enrollment continue to beat the odds and opt to play in a division higher, the only sport in the state where that happens.

After all, you don't see any Class "B" basketball teams deciding 10 straight district titles is enough and moving up to play with the big boys. They like winning, and if someone new crashes their party, they do their best to kick them out. That is, however, a longer story.

The AAA coaches, dismayed by the long distances between their communities, have opted for another path, one that will force more schools to join them so they can have a shorter drive to kick the crap out of someone instead of going down the road another hour or so and play someone they should be playing.

At least college teams pay someone to come get beat up for a day. Not schools in Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck, and Minot. They get the NDHSAA to do their dirty work for them.

The AAA division has 10 schools with male enrollments between 499-1098 (North Dakota Department of Public Instruction male enrollments--http://www.ndhsaa.org/files/11_12_FB_Division.pdf). Ten schools equals a school and nine opponents, and nine opponents equals a regular season.

Basic math the big school coaches refuse to acknowledge. After all, it takes work to beat schools in Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck, and Minot. Why put in the work when the state will gladly serve you Wahpeton and Devils Lake on a platter?

The next 10 largest schools have enrollments between 155 and 487 (same graph). Ten schools equals a school and nine opponents, and nine opponents equals a season. Basic math that, again, the AAA coaches refuse to acknowledge. After all, it takes work to beat.....well, you get the idea.

As someone from Valley City, I should point out that, even if a 16-team AAA division were re-established, Valley City would be spared. Wahpeton and TMCHS (Belcourt) would be added to the current 14, and once the new West Fargo team is established, one of those would be sent back to AA.

There's no personal gain being requested here. This is simply informing football fans in the biggest cities in the state about the path to victories the coaches and activities directors at some of these schools would prefer. It involves running down hill over smaller teams, instead of rising to the challenge their school size and market area should demand of them.

Besides, Valley City will be needed in the west pretty soon. After all, they tried to move the Hi-Liners to the west region of AA this past season, and only Fargo Oak Grove dropping to A allowed the Hi-Liners to be spared that fate. As a life-long resident of the state, I'm still adjusting to Jamestown being considered the start of the state's western region.

But why not do the incredibly absurd and make Valley City the west, seeing as how that 60 miles to the Red River can really seem like a long drive?

The NDHSAA is a dinosaur that has outlived it's usefulness. They can't recognize a change they desperately need to make (reference a three-class basketball system, or a super-two class system, or realignment of basketball, also a longer story), and, with this move in football, they can't resist the opportunity to wreck the best thing they have going.
God is bigger than football.
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Re: Wreck it for us, please.

Postby Bisonguy06 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:13 am

Heimer, you know where I stand on most of this, so I won't get into a point-by-point debate.

The only thing I think you're missing is a little perspective on what is happening with the oil boom in the west.

Williston and Dickinson are headed toward male high school enrollment #s of 500+, which could throw a wrench into your 10 team AAA.

And Valley City has no reason to fear moving west. Expect both Watford City and Stanley to be firmly in AA with their enrollment #s for the next plan. In talking with a Stanley teacher/coach, he put their current enrollment at 260 and rising.

My prediction is that Watford City and Stanley jump to AA and Rugby and Griggs County go down. One team would have to shift east, and I think it would be Carrington.

I'd leave AAA as is, and I think my AA would shake out like this:

West: Belcourt, Bottineau, Bishop Ryan, Stanley, Watford City, Beulah, St. Mary's, Trinity
East: Shanley, Wahpeton, Valley City, Carrington, Central Cass, Kindred, Lisbon, Grafton

That's a salty 2A.
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Re: Wreck it for us, please.

Postby Bisonguy06 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:46 am

The only problem with the current # of 14 is that Devils Lake is an enrollment misfit. They are significantly smaller than their AAA opponents AND significantly larger than all AA schools not named Belcourt. Nevertheless, they're going to win some AAA games this year. They thumped Jamestown and will hang with most teams out east.

Their solution is on the horizon with the second West Fargo high school in the works. Keep AAA at 14 and Devils Lake will be back in AA soon enough.

A 16 team AAA is a problem. I'm with you all the way.
A 10 team AAA is not the solution, especially not when we're about to add #11 (WF) and #12 and 13 (Williston and Dickinson) are growing rapidly.
Last edited by Bisonguy06 on Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Wreck it for us, please.

Postby Bisonguy06 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:35 am

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