Football: 2020-21 league alignment proposal released

Continuing to pore over what league alignment is going to percolate the most competition, the CHSAA football committee on Friday released a potential arrangement for the 2020-21 cycle that presents little change for area schools but still could have a major impact statewide.

At least, that is what the hope is.

Earlier this school year, the proposal of having a 6A playoff bracket — which essentially puts the eight top-tier 5A teams in a separate bracket similar to the College Football Playoff — was brought to the table, and that model still could work its way into the CHSAA in the future.

Friday’s news clarified the potential movement in classifications and leagues within those classifications — which for the regular season would remain 5A-1A.

Locally, the most notable changes concerned Erie, Prospect Ridge Academy and Lyons, all of which would switch classes in the next cycle.

Erie, which surged into the 3A state championship game in 2017 and made the semifinals in 2018, would join the 4A Northern League alongside Broomfield and Longmont. 

Class 2A would be void of local schools under the proposal as it sees still-on-the-newer-side Prospect Ridge going to 1A 11-man, and Lyons would drop to 8-man football after the 2019 season.

From a local standpoint, minor league changes are sprinkled throughout the rest of the proposal. Boulder would still be in the 5A Metro 10 League, but the league will be split and award only the teams leading each division a spot in playoffs. Fairview and Legacy would continue as league rivals in 5A.

Centaurus would have a new 4A league and new opponents — though the Warriors will have league contests spread throughout the Denver Metro area with Gateway, Denver South, Bear Creek and Aurora Central making up a majority of it.

According to the CHSAA release, the committee considered all of the following criteria to suggest the proposal: Enrollment, competitive balance, geography, risk minimization, level of success, school participation percentage, regular season/postseason implications.

The CHSAA’s legislative council meeting in April will address the proposal and put it to a vote.

Adam Dunivan: or