Changes in enrollment will result in new classifications next fall for eight area schools in the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association.
Classifications and regional alignments for the next two school years were made official Tuesday by the MPSSAA Board of Control, the 59-member legislative group made up of principals and superintendents.
Six area schools will move down in class: Randallstown (from 4A to 3A), North Carroll (3A to 2A), Liberty (3A to 2A), Oakland Mills (3A to 2A), Fallston (2A to 1A) and Wilde Lake (2A to 1A). Aberdeen and Atholton will move up in class, both going from 2A to 3A.
Schools are placed in order by enrollment and divided into four groups. The schools are then subdivided into four geographical regions in each class.
"We used enrollment figures for 1990 for ninth-, 10th- and 11th-graders," MPSSAA executive secretary Ned Sparks said. "We did not use 12th-graders because they will have graduated when the new classifications go into effect in 1991."
Based on those enrollment figures, Class 4A schools range from 1,839 students to 1,041; Class 3A from 1,036 to 819; Class 2A from 818 to 616; and Class 1A from 614 to 64.
The new classifications are set, but the regional alignments arproposed. The Board of Control will vote on the new regional alignments Dec. 8.
"The regional alignments are what we are proposing," Sparks said. "They will likely accept them, but there have been times when they have made a couple of changes. There won't be many changes from the proposal."
Depending on the sport, some teams are likely to benefit from the change in classifications and regions, and others are not. There was mixed reaction from coaches whose schools were changing classes.
Randallstown and Wilde Lake will be playing for for state football championships this weekend. Randallstown coach John Buchheister said he was not concerned about the Rams' drop from 4A to 3A, but Wildecats coach Doug DuVall said he was unhappy with Wilde Lake's move from 2A to 1A.
"I don't want to win the 1A championship," said DuVall, who led Wilde Lake to a Class 2A state title in 1985. "There are about 16 teams in the 2A capable of winning a state championship, and it wouldn't be an upset. In the 1A, only three or four teams can win it, and the rest are not in the ballgame."
In boys soccer, Oakland Mills, the Class 3A state champion, and Class 2A state champion Atholton will be switching classifications.
Oakland Mills boys soccer coach Don Shea said he was worried that teams from higher classes would not want to play his team anymore. The state's playoff points system rewards a school eight points for a victory over a 4A opponent, seven points for a 3A victory, six points for a 2A victory and five points for a 1A win.
"I could see some schools not wanting to play us now because we're 2A," Shea said. "It's not worth that many points to them."