Slight changes to MHSA classes for 2015-16 year



Star Sports Editor

There won't be much change in the alignment of schools in Eastern Montana, while western Montana will see some changes in the next couple years.

Class A Glendive, along with Class B Forsyth, Lame Deer and Lodge Grass successfully petitioned the Montana High School Association to remain in their respective classes.

Schools that drop below enrollment guidelines are recommended by the MHSA to drop to a lower class.

Two Class A schools from the west are accepting the MHSA's recommendation to drop to Class B. Anaconda and Libby will drop out of Class A into Class B. Class B Plentywood will drop to Class C. Those changes will take effect in the 2015-16 school year.

According to the MHSA, enrollment numbers for Class C are 1-119 students, Class B is 120-339, Class A is 340-825 and Class AA is 826 and higher. The MHSA recommendations are based on the last two years of the school's enrollment.

According to the latest enrollment numbers listed on the MHSA website, Glendive and Anaconda were two of the smallest Class A schools. Glendive was at 329 students and Anaconda had 323. Libby was listed at 348 students.

Bilings Central (331 students) and Butte Central (136) routinely petition the MHSA to remain in Class A, despite having Class B-type numbers.

Forsyth was listed at 112, Lame Deer was at 106 and Lodge Grass at 107 students. They are the three smallest schools competing in Class B. There are three Class C schools (Victor, Northern Cheyenne and Great Falls Central) with larger enrollments than Forsyth, Lame Deer and Lodge Grass.

With the defection of Anaconda, the Southwestern A will drop to five schools (Dillon, Butte Central, Corvallis, Hamilton and Stevensville). Libby's move will drop the Northwestern A to four schools (Polson, Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Frenchtown). The Eastern A will have six and the Central A still has five.

Realignment of the conferences will be done at the MHSA's executive meetings in November.