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Drop-down schools Libby to District 7-B, Anaconda to 6-B

Libby and Anaconda both opted to drop from Class A to B starting in the 2015-16 school year. But against whom and in what district would the newly minted B schools play?

The Montana High School Association answered that question Thursday by placing the Loggers in District 7-B and the Copperheads in District 6-B, for most sports at least, as well as finding Plentywood a home at the Class C ranks.

We’ll start with Libby. The Loggers’ previous 2-year enrollment period averaged 338.5 students. That’s just below the line for Class B schools of 340.

Here’s a look at what District 7-B will look like in a year and a half when Libby’s move becomes official:

 

WESTERN 7-B

Most recent Enrollment*

Libby

339

Eureka

287

Bigfork

285

Thompson Falls

174

Plains

142

Troy

131

*Fall 2013, per MHSA

Keep in mind that Libby will compete in this new 6-team league for football, basketball, volleyball and track and field. The Loggers will be in the broader Western B division for sports like tennis, softball and wrestling, while golf will compete in Division 3 and soccer will remain in the joint Northern A-B division. Cross country has no leagues with runners grouped all together in one Class B division.


Now, on to Anaconda. The Copperheads dropped below 300 students this spring. It’s most recent 2-year enrollment average was down to 326.5.

Here’s a peek at the new District 6-B, now with six teams:

 

WESTERN 6-B

Most recent Enrollment*

Ronan

350

Anaconda

295

Florence

253

Deer Lodge

226

Loyola Sacred Heart

177

St. Ignatius

128

*Fall 2013, per MHSA

Like Libby, Anaconda will do most of its sporting activities in District 6-B, though not all. The ‘Heads will be in this league for football, basketball, volleyball and track and field, but will join Libby in Western B for softball and wrestling. Anaconda will be in Western B for boys’ tennis, but Southwest B for girls’, while competing in the all-encompassing Class B division for cross country and Class C for golf.

Anaconda does not field soccer teams.


Plentywood’s situation is a little messier. The school has been tentatively assigned to District 2-C for basketball and track and field, District 1-C for volleyball and the Class C division for cross country and golf. Because Class C does not play 11-aside regulation football, the Wildcats will now field an 8-man team and compete in the Eastern Division.

As far as what happens for the recently exited conferences, Libby’s Northwestern A that is down to four teams and Anaconda’s Southwestern A that’s now at five, any realignment will be done at the MHSA’s executive meetings in November.

For a deeper look at Montana high school enrollment numbers, check out this previous post on MissoulaPreps.

 

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