76°F
weather icon Clear

Division I-A shake-up to benefit Boulder City

When the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association changed the high school sports landscape with the creation of conference realignment two years, they did so with the intent of creating an equal playing field.

By doing so, it was the NIAA’s intent to drop the lower tier Division I programs who regularly don’t succeed into the Division I-A, with hopes that their programs could prosper within the new league and build a solid foundation in the coming years to return to the Division I ranks. While this strategy has worked for Faith Lutheran, Sierra Vista and Spring Valley the past two season, who will all be Division I programs again next fall, one things the NIAA might not have thought about was the impact created by sending those lower tier Division I programs into the same classification as schools with nearly a third of the population.

“I don’t think smaller schools should be playing bigger schools,” Boulder City baseball coach Bobby Reese said, who guided the Eagles to their first Division I-A state championship since 2006 last week. “Population size means everything. With low participation numbers, it gets very hard for smaller programs to compete, not just ourselves, but other small town school programs as well like Virgin Valley and Moapa Valley.”

Luckily for Reese and the rest of the smaller tier programs, they won’t have to worry about playing larger enrollment opponents next season, with the NIAA reclassifying the league powers in several sports back into the Division I ranks starting next fall.

“Thankfully the league will now be back to what it was suppose to be four years ago when it started, Reese added. “I’ve been unhappy with having to play league opponents with 3 times our population enrollment. That is a huge difference and it pays a toll on our athletes.” Reese said that bigger schools have the numbers to breed one-sport athletes while schools like Boulder City do not. “These bigger schools, most of their athletes play one sport, ours are asked to play multiple and that’s the way I like it, but we would like to play schools in a similar situation. The new alignment is better but not perfect. The lower population programs like Moapa, Virgin and ourselves benefit.”

Not only should the Eagles benefit by playing programs closer to their population, but they should also benefit in the win column of several of their key programs with the division’s bigger schools out of the picture.

With Spring Valley gone, state championships in girls basketball and softball become more likely next season, with the reigning champs leaving the classification. Football, boys basketball and baseball opens up further for a more competitive league with all three newly placed Division I opponents out of the picture.

“This is the right move by the NIAA,” Reese concluded. “It gives everyone a fair shake. This isn’t about just winning, it’s about competing fairly.”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Eagles find their place

Boulder City High School’s boys soccer team routed a pair of opponents by a combined 15-0 to improve to 3-1 on the season as it rebounded from a recent loss.

Roundup: Henderson top Eagle at invitational

Hosting the Larry Burgess Las Vegas Invitational at Veterans’ Memorial Park on Sept. 11, senior Mary Henderson finished in second place for the Boulder City High School girls cross-country team.

Boys tennis players cruise to win

Rebounding from last week’s loss with a big win over 4A Liberty, Boulder City High School’s boys tennis team cruised past the Patriots 12-6 on Monday, Sept. 13.

Lessons learned from loss on tennis court

Learning a valuable lesson early in the season, Boulder City High School’s boys tennis team suffered an uncharacteristic loss to The Meadows 12-6 on Sept. 1.

Kesler nets national recognition

After a stellar first week of play for Boulder City High School’s boys soccer team, junior Gavin Kesler was named Nevada player of the week by Maxpreps.com.

Roundup: Soccer team falls to Cristo Rey

Dropping its only contest of the week to Cristo Rey 7-4 on Sept. 2, Boulder City High School’s boys soccer team fell to 1-1 on the season.

Leaf-peeping opportunities plateau in Utah

A chill is in the air in the Southwest’s high elevations, and fall foliage season is upon us. One of the best ways for Southern Nevadans to enjoy it this month is to head up to the Markagunt Plateau, just east of Cedar City, Utah.

Eagles win in ‘test’ against Valley

Advancing to 2-0 on the season, Boulder City High School’s football team churned out another impressive performance on Friday, Aug. 27, routing Valley 35-6 at home.

Soccer teams start season strong

Entering the season with high expectations, both Boulder City High School soccer programs have their sights set on postseason success.

Roundup: Tennis teams at top of game

Advancing to 4-0 on the season, both Boulder City High School tennis programs continue to surge to start the season, defeating 4A Foothill and 3A rival Moapa Valley.