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Realignment drops Warriors from 3A to 2A

Victories should rise and so should transportation costs at Whittell High following developments in Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association class realignment meeting Monday in Reno.

The Warriors, along with three current Nevada 3A Division II adversaries, are entering a 2A division effective for the 2000-2001 school year. Joining Whittell in an enrollment equivalent 2A division is longtime rival Incline and distant opponents Pershing County (Lovelock) and Mineral County (Hawthorne). Schools will meet sometime next school year to determine the exact breakdown of the divisions, but Whittell Athletic Director Larry Reilly is relieved that the Warriors weren’t realigned in such a way that they’d be constantly playing teams in central and eastern Nevada.

“It honestly was the option with the most common sense and was best for the schools with enrollments of 200 to 450,” Reilly said. “It’s going to make us more competitive. It will give us a chance to get to the top.”



NIAA Sports Information Director Donnie Nelson was surprised that the proceedings caused so much movement among schools. In all, 10 schools dropped down a class and enrollments were redetermined as follows: 1A, up to 169 students; 2A, 170-460; 3A, 461-1,200; and 4A, 1,201 and above.

“Things really changed. Going into it, I didn’t think there would be this much change,” said NIAA Sports Information Director Donnie Nelson.




Because the Warriors’ division may include as few as five or six schools, the 2A schedule might require several forays into northeastern Nevada, including Carlin in Central Nevada and West Wendover, which is located near the Utah border.

“There will be a few more trips east for Whittell, but probably not a lot more than they’re doing now,” Nelson said.

Lindsay Wines, the only Warrior coach who oversees varsity teams during each season, indicated before the realignment that she didn’t mind the reclassification for Whittell.

“I have mixed emotions,” said Wines, who coaches cross country running, girls basketball and softball. “I don’t necessarily like spending all-day Friday and Saturday on a school bus, but I also see the importance of the kids having a little success, too.”

Yerington was originally penciled in as the fifth present member of the Class 3A Division II to reclassify, but the Lions elected to remain at the 3A level because its projected enrollment may exceed 460 students. Yerington will join Lowry, Spring Creek, Truckee, Fernley, Dayton, Bishop Manogue, North Tahoe and Rite of Passage in forming two of three 3A divisions.

A sojourn to Wendover will become the lengthiest trip for Whittell, requiring approximately 900 miles round-trip

“Without a doubt, there will be more traveling, but not nearly as bad as the other options. With option II we would have been missing school every other Friday.”

With the loss of Lowry from the 4A, Division I and II representatives must decide how to redivide their remaining 12 schools, including South Tahoe.

As it stands, there are five teams in Division I and seven in Division II.

“Realistically, the easiest thing to do would be to move one school from Division II to Division I, but I think it will be totally revamped,” Nelson said.

Also effective in 2000 is the advent of three 4A regions instead of two zones. Consequently, the 4A Northern Nevada region will lose one state qualifier and sometimes two under the new tournament formula.

Currently, the North sends four schools to state. But with the extra region, a rotating 3-3-2 formula will be used to determine state qualifiers.

“That third-place game at zone could mean an awful lot,” Nelson said. “Now to make it to the state tournament, all the schools have to have a great season.”

The addition of a 4A region was necessary due to enormous growth in Southern Nevada. Within the next 10 years, 20 new schools will join the 4A, including 17 in Southern Nevada.

Other decisions rendered at the meeting were:

— The NIAA will continue to hold its state basketball tournaments at Lawlor Events Center in Reno. Beginning next year, state baseball and softball tournaments will be permanently staged in Las Vegas.

— The Nevada (Super) Wrestling Tournament is history. Beginning next winter, the 1A/2A, 3A and 4A will begin holding their own state tournaments at preferably one venue.

— Beginning next fall, a new format will be used to break ties among schools vying for playoff positions. Ties will be broken first by head-to-head records, then point/run differential in games between tied teams and finally, record of tied teams against division opponents beginning with the first-place team.


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