Pirates see changes in schedule

Posted 4/2/10

Englewood, a 4A school, had 12 too many students to be classified as 3A for all sports except football for the 2010-11 season, but the school will be …

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Pirates see changes in schedule


Englewood, a 4A school, had 12 too many students to be classified as 3A for all sports except football for the 2010-11 season, but the school will be allowed to play basically a 3A schedule during the regular season.

“Our enrollment has been steadily declining, we thought we would become a 3A school next season. But that didn’t happen because in early November when the activities association set up the classifications for all the state’s schools, our enrollment was 12 students above the 3A classification upper limit of 630,” said Paul Evans, EHS athletic director. “However, the activities association did allow us to join the 3A Metro League for our regular season scheduled but we have to move up into 4A competition for playoffs.”

Classifications are set for a two-year cycle. So, even though Englewood High School enrollment hovered just above 600 mark by the first of this year, the fact the Colorado High School Activities Association eliminated its classification appeal process means the Pirates will live with the 3A regular season and 4A playoffs for the next two years.

The Colorado High School Activities Association will consider classifications again in 2011 and, unless there are major changes in the rules and enrollment cutoffs, Englewood probably will become a 3A school for the regular season and the playoffs.

There was a time when there were twice as many students at Englewood and the school was in the top classification for sports competition. But enrollment has been steadily declining for more than a decade, so just about all Pirate teams have had smaller rosters than opponents as they struggled to be competitive in 4A.

For the last several years, the Pirates were members of the 4A Jefferson County League.

This year, they sought permission to “play down” to 3A. The first step to be able to “play down” was to get permission to leave that league. The Jefferson County 4A League gave approval to the request, and with that in hand, Englewood then applied for admission to the Metro League. It was unanimously granted for the next two years starting with the 2010 fall seasons.

That means for the 2010-11 schedules in all sports but football, the Pirate opponents will include Faith Christian, Kent Denver, Colorado Academy, Manual, St. Mary’s Academy, Bishop Machebeuf, Denver Lutheran, Peak-to-Peak Academy and Holy Family. Probably there will be little or no change in the opponents for the 2011-12 season.

“This league is a better fit for us and it means less travel for our teams and hopefully that will make it more convenient for more Pirate fans to go to away games. All our coaches think it is a great move for us,” Evans said. “Also, we will be able to play all league teams and still have spots available on the schedule to renew rivalries with schools like Alameda, Sheridan and Elizabeth.”

However, the change comes with strings attached. The activities association allowed Englewood to play a regular season 3A schedule. But the Pirates will be required to qualify under established rules to gain a spot in the 4A post season playoffs in all sports but football.

Football is undergoing a change of a different kind because of new 3A grid league alignments.

Englewood has been in the Jefferson County League where, for the last two years, the schools were split into two divisions. Each school played all division opponents and, based on how the team finished in the division, the final game of the season was against the team that finished in the same spot in the other division.

Next season, that won’t happen because there have been two newly created 3A metro area leagues and all teams will play a full 10-game schedule.

Tentatively, Englewood will be in the Metro 3A League and play six league opponents, Conifer, Evergreen, Alameda, Elizabeth, Kennedy and Ridge View Academy.

“We will continue to play five of the Jeffco League teams we have played for several seasons plus one new team Kennedy from the Denver Public School League,” Evans said. “This league alignment means we will schedule four non-league games and again, that will allow us to renew old rivalries with schools like Sheridan.”


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