CHSAA divides hockey into two classes
Battle Mountain moves down to 4A
The Colorado High School Activities Association officially split high school hockey into two different classifications on Friday.
Battle Mountain hockey will play in the newly-formed 4A division against schools more similar in size, starting with the 2020-21 season after years of going against giants from the Front Range.
This will give Battle Mountain (at last count for athletic purposes with 955 students) a fighting chance come the postseason and a possible state championship.
Twenty schools, mostly the Front Range squads, will make up Class 5A hockey, including Valor Christian (1,094), Regis (1,800), Monarch (1,714), Cherry Creek (3,654), Ralston Valley (1,850) and Lewis-Palmer (1,065), schools which have combined to win the last 13 state championships.
Battle Mountain and 16 other schools drop down to 4A. The Huskies will play in the new Mountain Conference. It’s the same circuit as the old Peak with Aspen, Crested Butte, Glenwood Springs, Summit and Steamboat Springs, but said High Country teams will have a fighting chance come the postseason.
The two other 4A conferences are the North (Kent Denver, Colorado Academy, Mullen, Rampart, Liberty and Air Academy) and the Metro (Palmer, Coronado, Pueblo County, Cheyenne Mountain and Woodland Park.)
Last year’s rating-percentage index was quite telling as the top 12 teams in the state in the rankings were now-5A schools with the top new-4A squads Summit ranked No. 13 and Battle Mountain 14th.
The last time a small school won the state title was 2007 (Aspen with a current student body of 547). Battle Mountain’s made the finals twice in 2002 and 2008 and lost each time by one goal. In 2008, current Huskies coach Derek Byron was wearing a Battle Mountain sweater.
News and notes
• Girls’s lacrosse is also splitting from one class into 5A and 4A. Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley move down to 4A.
• CHSAA also expanded the 2A girls’ soccer playoff field from 12 to 16 teams. That should be a boon to Vail Christian.
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