LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas Activities Association released its 2016-18 classification numbers for its next cycle, setting the stage for the next few seasons of high school sports.
This is big news for Walnut Ridge and Riverside fans who will be seeing their schools jump up in classification. Both schools will be entering Class 3A, jumping up from 2A. This puts an end to rivalries like Riverside vs. BIC but welcoming in the addition of an old rivalary between Walnut Ridge and Hoxie. Tuckerman will also be moving up from 2A to 3A.
While there were no other significant changes to classification for any other Region 8 schools, several are close to a possible classification move, possibly as soon as the 2018-2020 reclassification cycle.
Schools like Jonesboro, Greene County Tech, Pocahontas, Brookland, and Rivercrest remain in their respective classes but sit very close to the cut line of where their current classification ends and the higher one begins.
Rivercrest was the "first school out" of the 4A Conference, sitting at 114 on the list while the next school up is a 4A team. That beings said, the Colts will remain in the 3A through at least the 2018 season.
While schools may be near the line of moving classifications, a lot of depends on enrollment numbers of both the school on the move and the schools above and below them. For example, if Rivercrest continues to grow in enrollment, they may be in position to move to 4A unless the schools directly above them also see increases in enrollment, making it very difficult to predict the future of reclassification.
At least for the next two year cycle, the Region 8 Sports scene should be very similar to what we saw the past two years. 2018-2020 will likely bring some classification changes, keeping eyes on schools like Brookland and Rivercrest as possible candidates to move up.
To see the 2016-2018 Reclassification List, click here.