Touchdown, Cougars

Viborg-Hurley celebrates a touchdown by Calvin Rasmussen, with ball, during a football game last August against Corsica-Stickney in Viborg.

There will once again be seven classes of high school football in South Dakota this fall.

The South Dakota High School Activities Association (SDHSAA) Board of Directors unanimously approved Wednesday a second reading of football classifications.

Later in their regular meeting, the Board also unanimously agreed to use the new Average Daily Membership (ADM, males in grades 9-11) numbers for classification in 2021-22.

There will once again be four classes of 11-man football and three classes of 9-man.

The breakdown is as follows:

• 11AAA: Sioux Falls Roosevelt, Sioux Falls Lincoln, Rapid City Central, Sioux Falls Washington, Rapid City Stevens, Brandon Valley, Harrisburg, Sioux Falls Jefferson and O’Gorman

• 11AA: Aberdeen Central, Watertown, Brookings, Yankton, Mitchell, Douglas, Pierre, Sturgis, Huron, Spearfish and Tea Area

• 11A: Belle Fourche, West Central, Vermillion, Lennox, Sioux Falls Christian, Dakota Valley, Madison, Milbank, Canton, Chamberlain, Tri-Valley, Custer, Dell Rapids and Sisseton

• 11B: Everyone else with an ADM of 56.001 and above

• 9AA: Top 1/3 of teams below 56.000

• 9A: Middle 1/3 of teams below 56.000

• 9B: Bottom 1/3 of teams below 56.000

The SDHSAA staff will now work to finalize schedules for the next two years.

Bon Homme Appeal

Four students listed as juniors by the Department of Education in the updated ADM numbers but who will all graduate in May was at the center of an appeal by Monday during Wednesday’s Board of Directors meeting.

Those four students who have been at Bon Homme for at least 3.5 years (or seven semesters) will all graduate in May, according to athletic director Mike Duffek, who presented the appeal.

With those juniors counted on the 9-11 ADM, Bon Homme’s updated ADM is 57.574, which would have pushed the Cavaliers up into 11-man football.

Instead, the Board of Directors voted 7-0 to approve the appeals request for Bon Homme to remain 9-man football. Board member Tom Culver obstained from the vote, as his school (Avon) is in a wrestling co-op with Bon Homme and Scotland.

Scotland/Menno Appeal

An appeal request by a new Scotland/Menno football co-operative to remain in the 9-man ranks was rejected by the SDHSAA Board of Directors, which means the yet-to-be-named team will be in Class 11B.

The new co-op has a male ADM of 58.042, but the debate centered on three Scotland students: A junior on the school’s roll but has not attended school, a sophomore with special needs that has been studying in Sioux Falls and a freshman that has not physically been in school due to COVID-19.

The board understood the situation with the student receiving assistance in Sioux Falls, but ultimately decided that the other two situations didn’t warrant affecting the co-op’s ADM.

Earlier in the meeting, the Board of Directors approved the application to dissolve the football co-op between Menno, Marion and Freeman Academy. Scotland and Menno then agreed to join together to play football (Scotland’s numbers were so low that it didn’t field a middle school football team last fall, according to superintendent Tim Hagedorn).

Hagedorn and Menno superintendent Tom Rice, who were both in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting, both said that numbers indicate that the new co-op will be such that it will be in 9-man football in future years.

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