Silver Creek head football coach Mike Apodaca has been around long enough to have seen plenty of classification and conference shakeups.
But rarely has Apodaca been so excited about the reclassification proposal that is likely to be passed at the Colorado High School Activities Association legislative council meeting on Thursday. Under the new classification proposal, Silver Creek would move back down to 3A where it played in three straight state title games from 2011-13.
Not only would Apodaca’s Raptors be returning to the level where the school has had it most success, but the veteran coach also praised the proposal for its potential to even out the levels.
“This is the best attempt I’ve seen since I’ve been here of CHSAA trying to level the playing field,” Apodaca said. “The year we won state, the 3A class was really deep and it looks like it will be that way again.”
Neighboring Longmont High, a perennial playoff power in 4A, will also move down to 3A next season. Niwot, which has won one game in the past two seasons in 3A, will move up to 4A.
While the Raptors are moving down in classification despite the school’s enrollment steadily increasing, Apodaca isn’t expecting things to get much easier for his team that won three games last season.
“In 4A we learned that you don’t get a week off and that’s how it should be this year in 3A as well,” Apodaca said. “There are about four or five teams that were 4A playoff teams last year moving down with us. We saw last year how competitive the top teams in 3A were already so I don’t think there will be much difference between the top eight teams in 4A to the top eight or so teams in 3A.”
With a new RPI-based waterfall league system expected to be approved for 5A, Fairview athletic director Terrin Kelly said he is looking forward to the change.
“It’s a pretty drastic change but I think it’s exciting,” Kelly said. “It should really freshen up the teams we play that count as league games. Our league will be really tough with Columbine and the other teams, and one of the great things about it is that we won’t have to travel too far.”
Another proposal on the table for Thursday would significantly alter the transfer rules in Colorado. If it passes, all summer transfers would be required to sit out the first 50 percent of the next season, regardless of the player’s reasons for transferring. The only exception would be transfers who are transferring because of a military move.
“That affects all of us equally,” Kelly said.
Other proposals include limiting the number of quarters a football player may play in a given week, increasing the minimum criteria for CHSAA membership and changing the 2A cross country scoring format.