AUGUSTA, Maine — A proposal to expand the state’s high school football hierarchy from three to four classes just needs final approval from the Maine Principals’ Association general membership next week to be implemented beginning this fall.
That vote is scheduled to take place March 28 during the MPA’s annual spring conference at the Samoset Resort in Rockport.
The current four-class proposal, which has been in the works since 2010, passed another test late last week when it gained the backing of the MPA’s Interscholastic Management Committee.
Just one change was made to the proposal as it came out of the Classification Committee, said MPA assistant executive director Mike Burnham, and that was to adjust the enrollment cutoff between Class C and Class D from 449 students to 454.
That change was a response to the recent approval by the MPA of a cooperative football program involving Winthrop and Monmouth Academy beginning this fall.
Winthrop previously has fielded its own football program, which based on its school enrollment of 223 already was pegged for Western Maine Class D under the four-class plan.
By joining with Monmouth Academy, a school of 229 students that has fielded a club football program in recent years, the cooperative entry involves a combined enrollment of 452 students and would be placed in Western C under the previous enrollment cutoff.
The modification of the C-D enrollment split to 454 means the Winthrop-Monmouth team can remain in Western D under the current plan, and that will allow for the Eastern C, Eastern D, Western C and Western D divisions to remain balanced with 10 teams each.
The desire to maintain that balance, which simplifies the scheduling process for each division involved, was the basis for support of the C-D enrollment cutoff change by both the Interscholastic Management Committee and members of the MPA’s Football Committee who were polled on the matter, Burnham said.
The Maine Principals’ Association is continuing to expand its practice of awarding sportsmanship banners to selected schools at the end of each sports season, with honorees recently announced in basketball, ice hockey, swimming and wrestling.
The following Western and Eastern Maine winners were recognized at state championship events for each sport.
Boys basketball: Class A: Kennebunk and Erskine Academy of South China; Class B: Poland and Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft; Class C: Waynflete of Portland and Houlton; Class D: Seacoast Christian of South Berwick and Bangor Christian.
Girls basketball: Class A: South Portland and Erskine Academy of South China; Class B: Lake Region of Naples and Gardiner; Class C: Waynflete of Portland and Houlton; Class D: Seacoast Christian of South Berwick and Greater Houlton Christian Academy.
Boys ice hockey: Class A: Cheverus of Portland and Waterville; Class B: Camden Hills of Rockport and Orono.
Girls ice hockey: Falmouth and Yarmouth/Freeport.
Boys swimming: Class A: Cheverus of Portland; Class B: Winslow.
Girls swimming: Class A: Cheverus of Portland; Class B: Ellsworth.
Wrestling: Class A: Marshwood of South Berwick and Oxford Hills of South Paris; Class B: York and Medomak Valley of Waldoboro; Class C: Bucksport and Fort Kent.