By Rusty Whitcher
After peering into my crystal ball, I cannot help but wonder one little question. Is all of the drinking water consumed by decision makers in Topeka, tainted with crazy?
First of all, let it be known this is not about politics. This will be about the discussion by the Kansas State High School Activities Association and high school football coaches with the intent to split Class 3A.
Right now, the pounding sound which should be reverberating around Hesston is the sound of my forehead banging against my desk.
Kansas high school sports does not need additional classes. In fact, what the state needs, are fewer classes for sports. There are already too many classes in Kansas and with a split of 3A, there would be as many as NINE classes in sports such as football, basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball. Oh, there are only 353 high schools which make up KSHSAA. With nine classes, it averages out to be around 39 high schools per class. (This is just pure numbers as KSHSAA can’t do anything outside of multiples of four.)
Compare the number to the number in Texas. Texas has 3,263 public high schools, divided up into six classes and only six classes as private schools are their own separate entity in Texas. Imagine if Texas used the Kansas system; there would be 83 classes in Texas. It would be 83 different state champions which really cheapen the aspect of being the best in the state.
I have a better solution to the Kansas problem; let’s turn Kansas into the only state with 88 classes, made up of only four teams in each class. This way, each school is guaranteed at least a fourth place finish in every state championship. Everyone gets a trophy, year-in and year-out. The state championships and playoffs aren’t watered down enough already, right?
I’m the first to admit, something does have to change in Class 3A football. This archaic system, designed by the dinosaurs, puts 3A football players in Kansas at high risk having to play three games in 10 days in the playoffs. With all of the research about concussions coming out these days, the Topeka people in charge continue to slurp down the crazy water while ignoring the three games in 10 days.
There needs to be fewer classes in Kansas with a better playoff system. If it takes sacrificing the final week of the 9-game regular season while extending the season one week, so be it. The addition of the runner-up district system pushed the season as long as 11-man state championships being played during Thanksgiving weekend. So take away one regular season game and revamp the playoffs with fewer classes. After all, there’s not a lot of difference in 6A and 5A football, mainly the enrollment numbers at the school.
The system can be salvaged, and the people in charge may need to have bottled water shipped into start, but it can be done.