OSSAA Approves Plan To Split 6A Football Into Two Divisions

Wednesday, October 9th 2013, 5:47 pm
By: News On 6

Competitiveness is taking precedence over convenience, or at least that's how is seems with the new realignment for class 6A high school football.

Next year, the 32 teams will be split into two divisions, each playing for its own state championship. The new plan will split those teams next year into two divisions, with the largest 16 schools going into Division I and the other 16 into Division II.

This won't only mean more competitive games for schools like Broken Arrow at home, but longer trips when they go on the road.

Here's how the divisions are broken down:

Division I

District 1

Edmond Memorial
Broken Arrow
Edmond Santa Fe
Putnam City


District 2

Edmond North
Norman North
Putnam City North

Division II

Division 1

B.T. Washington
Ponca City
Sand Springs

Division 2

Putnam City West
Midwest City
U.S. Grant

"Depending on how you sit in those 32 schools of 6A, determines how you felt about it," said Ken Ellett, Broken Arrow's Athletic Director.

Ellett said the Tigers currently take a convoy to away games. In addition to the four buses for the football team, they take two for cheer squads, two spirit buses, and eight for the band, along with a trailer and a semi.

"Practice is what it's all about, and they definitely will miss some of those, because I can't image taking the whole band for four games on the road," Ellett said.

"In 2008, the cost per mile for our buses to run was $1.54, so, as you can tell, the further out of town we go, the more expensive it is for our district," said Union Athletic Director Emily Warren.

She said she hasn't had time to calculate exactly how much the extra travel is going to cost the district.

Warren said the district pays drivers $10/hour. Coaches who are certified to drive usually drive the football buses and are paid $30/trip in Tulsa and surrounding towns and $50/trip to OKC and beyond.

Starting in 2014, instead of being split between the east and west sides of the state, Class 6A will have a division for smaller schools, and one for Oklahoma's largest schools.

Only four eastern Oklahoma schools made the cut for Division 1: Broken Arrow, Owasso, Union and Jenks. Instead of putting those four in the same district, the state split them up. Owasso plays Union and Broken Arrow plays Jenks.

The rest of their district games are against Oklahoma City-area teams, and half will be on the road.

"You'll have to pull them out of school even earlier, before sixth hour," Ellett said.

Theresa Sallee's son will travel with the team to away games starting next year.

"I do have some concerns that he will fall behind," Sallee said.

She's says parents aren't as worried about their team fighting for a playoff spot, as much as they are fighting traffic for a 7 o'clock kick off.

"Taking off from work, some people just can't do that," Sallee said. "Financially, that can be a burden on some families."

Sallee said in the past, when her family traveled to Oklahoma City, they arrived back home as late as 2 o'clock in the morning.

Ellett said the realignment could force some Thursday night games.

"I've even seen where they play some on Saturdays," he said.

The plan could also cause some scheduling issues in the Oklahoma City-area, because all the Edmond teams play at the University of Central Oklahoma, all the Moore teams play at Moore High School and Norman and Norman North both play at Norman High.

Ellett said the large Tulsa-area schools - Jenks, Owasso, Broken Arrow and Union - wanted to be split up to avoid playing each other before the playoffs.

There is also discussion about making the switch to two 6A divisions, not only for football, but for all other sports.