View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 12/6

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: December 6, 2013 - 9:14 AM



The season is over so it’s time to look ahead at next year and some of the changes on the horizon on both sides of the state line.
Next year the high school football season will have a much different look on the Missouri side. The biggest change is the start of the season. Missouri will begin practice a week earlier in 2014 so the beginning of the season will begin a week earlier as well.
The state championships will still take place the weekend after Thanksgiving which means the current postseason format for Classes 1-5 of a game Wednesday followed by a game Monday and then Saturday will be changed to allow games to be played on Friday or Saturdays every week.
This new format will match what Class 6 has been doing since 2002. The extra week of the season means the two week grind of three games in the span of 11 days will go away. It will help with injuries and travel and should make the games even more competitive.
I like the idea but there are a few things that the postseason change will affect in an odd way. In Class 6 the season will start on the same week with a nine-week regular season followed by a three-week district tournament and a semifinal round. It will look exactly like Classes 1-5 except there is one less round for Class 6 because there are only 32 teams.
So one less rounds means there will be an extra week in the schedule for Class 6 and right now it looks like that extra week without any games will be inserted between the semifinal and state championship round. If it were that way this season Blue Springs and Rock Bridge would have played their semifinal games two weeks ago and spent the last two weeks getting ready for the big game.
That’s not my favorite plan but it probably will work out the best. It will only affect two teams and those teams have probably earned a week off. I just like have postseason games every week in every class.
The change in Kansas will have a similar consequence. The current 64-team Class 4A will be split into two 32 team divisions based on school size. This will also eliminate a round of playoffs in Kansas so no more Tuesday, Saturday Friday quick turnaround that 3A and 4A face each year in Kansas. Class 3A will still have that schedule but 4A will be on the same schedule as 5A and 6A.
The change in Kansas is fine and should make for better football and less travel. Both are good things. The only downside is Kansas will now have six classes of 11-man football named 6A, 5A, 4A Division I, 4A Division II, 3A and 1A-2A. That just sounds funny.