FORT WAYNE — Last month, the IHSAA decided to shake up the football postseason with the creation of a sixth class and the addition of a tournament success factor that could move winning programs up a class.
But judging by some comments at Friday’s Northeast Indiana Media Day at North Side, the actual effect on players could be little, especially if they won’t be around for the changes.
In June, the IHSAA’s Executive Committee approved part of an Indiana Football Coaches Association proposal and added a Class 6A to the football state tournament next year.
“Hopefully, it is something big for Northrop,” Northrop senior receiver Spencer Cowherd said. “Every player just wants to go out there and win. It might be a little better competition, but I like better competition.”
The 6A would include the top 32 schools by enrollment in the current 5A, with schools 33-64 remaining in 5A.
Northeast Indiana teams that might go up to 6A will be Northrop, Homestead, Warsaw and Snider, the latter school being one of the smaller 6A schools. Carroll and Huntington North would be near the top of 5A.
“I heard Snider is going up (to 6A) so that takes them out of our sectional,” South Side senior quarterback Donovan Clark said. “That definitely opens up a spot for us for a (5A) sectional championship. We do plan on beating them, but it makes it easier.”
The IHSAA also voted for a two-year tournament success factor in each team sport (baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball and volleyball), an accumulation of points by which any school could move up one class based on tournament success.
Schools can earn a point for each sectional, regional, semistate and state title it wins in a year. Teams can earn a maximum of four points in a season.
If a school earns six points or more during a two-year period, the school would move up a class. Tournament success achieved during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years will be used to determine classes in 2013-14.
Bishop Luers is the three-time defending 2A state champion and has already earned four points. At least a trip to semistate this season bumps the Knights up to 3A for next season.
“If anything were to change for us, we would be up to the challenge,” Luers senior defensive back Kendrick Mullen said. “It would be better on our part because, if we moved up to 3A, it would be more competition moving up a class. Either way it goes, we are happy about what happens, and we will make adjustments to whatever it is.”
Snider coach Kurt Tippmann, a member of the committee that helped to create the proposal to the IHSAA, said he was surprised by how quickly the state’s governing body implemented the switches.
“At no point had they given (the IFCA) an indication that they were jumping on board with any kind of change,” Tippmann said of the IHSAA. “Proposals had been in front of them, but the way they dragged their feet on votes and discussion about it and kept tabling to talk about it until another meeting, we weren’t really sure they were going to do anything. As long as we keep making those kinds of strides, it makes the state more competitive and more interesting and will certainly make the month of November more interesting.”