Starting next season both the Logan and Man high school athletic teams will be competing in the same classification.
Logan, in a move that was widely expected, will be moving down from Class AAA to AA.
Man High School, a Single-A school for the last several years, will be moving up to Double-A status beginning in August 2016.
The WVSSAC completed its realignment on Thursday afternoon. The new enrollment numbers and classifications are good for the next four academic years, starting in 2016-2017 and going through the 2019-2020 school year.
Logan last competed in the Class AA ranks from 2003-08 and had much success, winning a state boys’ basketball championship in 2005 and also placing runner-up one year, taking two state titles in baseball in 2005 and 2008 and also winning a state title in girls’ softball in 2006.
Logan’s football team advanced to the Class AA playoffs twice during its Double-A days in 2005 and 2007. LHS has since advanced to the Class AAA playoffs three times in 2010, 2011 and 2013.
Wildcats’ football coach Gary Mullins had lobbied hard for Logan to go back to Class AA, feeling his program would be able to compete much better with schools of its own size.
Lincoln County, Winfield, Oak Hill, Point Pleasant and Shady Spring all move down from Class AAA to Class AA in the new realignment.
According to the new figures, Man will be the smallest Class AA school in the state as MHS was right on the cutoff of the Class AA/A border region.
Man High School has had a lot of success over the last several years in the Class A ranks.
The Hillbillies won two state championships in softball in 2008 and 2009 and were state runner-ups in 2010. Man’s baseball team won the 2014 Class A state championship and were runner-ups this past season. The Man football team advanced to the 2009 Class A state football championship game in Wheeling. The Man cheerleaders have been Class A state runner-ups the last two years.
Mount View, Ravenswood and Tolsia drop from Class AA to Class A. The largest Class AA school is Lincoln County.
Ravenswood is the largest Class A school, while Harman the smallest with only 36 students.
Cabell Midland is the biggest Class AAA school in the state with Ripley being the smallest.
The Class AAA enrollment figures range from Ripley High School’s 933 to Cabell Midland’s 1,965.
Lincoln County has the biggest enrollment figures at 871 in Class AA with Man at the bottom with 460 students.
In the Class A ranks, Ravenswood has the largest enrollment with 433 students.
Also dropping from Class AAA to AA are Elkins, Nitro and Lewis County.
No schools moved up from Class AA to AAA.
Ravenswood, Mount View, Webster County, Tolsia, Ritchie County and Summers County moved down to Class A.
Since the Cardinal Conference is a Class AAA only league, Tolsia would, presumably, have to league the conference.
That means the Cardinal Conference would have to expand. There are plenty of candidates with Logan, Man, Nitro, Winfield and Point Pleasant being the most logical. Logan, Winfield and Point Pleasant are all former members of the conference.
Point Pleasant has been a Class AAA school since 2012.
The Big Blacks last competed as a 2A school in the 2011-12 school year, beating Chapmanville 33-13 in the Class AA state football semifinals and advancing to the Super Six.
The makeup of the new classifications includes 29 schools in AAA, 44 in AA and 54 in A (44 for football).
Starting next fall, all three Logan County schools — Logan, Chapmanville and Man — will be in the Class AA ranks. Chapmanville Regional remained unchanged and will stay in Class AA.
The changes will also dramatically shift the matchups in the sectional tournaments for basketball, baseball and softball.
There’s been no word yet on what new sectionals the Hillbillies, Wildcats and Tigers will compete in.
If Logan rejoins the Cardinal Conference, the Wildcats would have to play league member Chapmanville again. The school schools have shelved its rivalry in baseball and boys’ basketball, although LHS and CRHS have continued to play each other in girls’ basketball, football, softball, tennis and golf.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1730, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).