CENTER, Mo. – The 2015 campaign was one to remember for the Mark Twain football team.
The Tigers, coming off an 6-6 season the year prior, won their first 11 games and earned a spot in the Class 1 district title game. However, that’s when the dream season ended as Mark Twain was rocked by eventual state champion Ste. Genevieve Valle 44-0.
“I remember watching Valle Catholic that year (on tape and during the field),” Mark Twain football coach Mark Asbury said. “They could have played with anyone in the state of Missouri.”
Valle Catholic’s Class 1 state title that season completed a three-peat, and was the fifth in six seasons. Those days of dominating a single class, however, seem to be over for anyone in the state.
This summer, 11 amendments were passed by the Missouri State High School Activities Association, and two of them influence how classifications are determined, and how much success determines moving up or down classes.
Those amendments – titled Proposal 9 and Proposal 10 on the MSHSAA ballots – were overwhelmingly passed.
Proposal 9, passed 376-51, restructures the procedures for sport and activity classification for districts and state series. Specifically, the proposal states that the largest school in each class cannot have an enrollment that’s doubled the enrollment of the smallest school in the same class. However, Class 1 is not influenced by this proposal.
Proposal 10, passed 294-131, removes the state’s 1.35 enrollment multiplier that is currently in place for non-public and charter schools, and replaces it with a new success factor. Reclassifications will be determined on a point-based system over a six-year period.
Both proposals will take effect July 1, 2020. They affect team sports such as basketball, baseball, football, softball, volleyball and soccer.
“I think they’re trying to get it a little more competitive throughout,” Asbury said. “Class 1 at one time felt like it was a little less competitive. But now we could see something like Blair Oaks and Valle Catholic playing each other and that would be a tremendous semifinal or championship game.”
How many points needed to move up a classification hasn’t been determined by MSHSAA. A team earns one point for a district championship, two points for a quarterfinal victory, three points for winning a state semifinal game and four points for winning a state championship.
Points are not cumulative over a single postseason. If a team wins a state title, it only receives four points instead of 10.
Neither proposals have drastic changes to area schools like Hannibal, Mark Twain, Monroe City and Palmyra. Monroe City and Palmyra play their district games against a bulk of fellow Clarence Cannon Conference schools. Hannibal plays schools in the St. Louis area, but are all similar in enrollment size.
This past spring, Mark Twain’s baseball team moved down to Class 2 and faced similar sized schools like Silex and Clopton. Proposal 9 figures to keep Mark Twain in that classification.
Asbury, who also coaches the Mark Twain baseball team, approves of that.
“I think that definitely helps us with that,” Asbury said. “We’re not going to face Class 3 teams, and it shows there is a light in the end of the tunnel.”