Committee agrees on new-look prep football leagues |

Committee agrees on new-look prep football leagues

Jon Mitchell

The Classification and League Organizing Committee of the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) on Thursday approved the league arrangements that will include Garfield County’s high school football teams.

Final approval of all league alignments in Colorado, according to, needs to come at January’s legislative council meeting in Denver. The moves will change leagues in all classifications and will create a new league for Garfield County teams in Class 2A, effectively disbanding the 2A Western Slope League.

The 3A WSL will remain intact, but will lose three teams and gain two, according to the proposal. Battle Mountain, Moffat County of Craig, and Montezuma Cortez will drop down to Class 2A, while Grand Junction Central and Summit will move into the league. It will also include Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Palisade, Steamboat Springs, Delta and Eagle Valley.

Central will drop down from Class 4A after its petition to play down a classification was approved by CHSAA. Summit’s football team — which played this past season in the Denver Metro East League — will be the last to move into the Western Slope League. Each of the school’s other sports are now in their second season of playing in the WSL.

The move drops Battle Mountain into the 2A Northwest League with Coal Ridge, Roaring Fork, Moffat County, Basalt and Aspen. Moffat County is dropping down due to a drop in enrollment.

Battle Mountain enrolls 794 students — above the threshold to play at Class 2A — but won its petition to play down. CHSAA stated on its website, however, that Battle Mountain must qualify for the Class 3A state playoffs in order to see the postseason. That criteria has not been determined, the site said.

Cortez moves into the Southwest League, which will include Bayfield, Gunnison, Olathe, Pagosa Springs and Alamosa. Gunnison won the Class 2A WSL title this past season, and Bayfield and Pagosa Springs were also in that league.

As anticipated, Grand Valley is slated to move into the 1A WSL from 2A thanks to a drop in enrollment. The Cardinals will play in a league with Cedaredge, Hotchkiss, Lake County of Leadville, Paonia, and Meeker. Paonia will enter next season as the defending Class 1A state champion.

The leagues, if approved in January, will play out for the upcoming two-year classification cycle spanning from 2014 to 2016.

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