Knox County Lady Eagles Move To Softball Class 2
By David Sharp
The Missouri State High School Activities Association announced their fall sports district and enrollment classification assignments on August 15. Knox County has returned to softball Class 2 for the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
The Lady Eagles were set for Class 1 district play in the first MSHSAA release, but were later re assigned to Class 2 because of an error related to a boys’ softball coop. Knox County is the smallest Class 2 softball school in the state of Missouri.
Knox County R-I turned in a listed enrollment of 196 during the 2007 school year. The process of assigning schools to districts and enrollment classes took nearly a year to complete. Knox County High School is projected to begin the 2008-09 academic year with182 or183 students.
Schuyler County faced a similar dilemma when the Rams found themselves in football Class 2 and basketball Class 3 for the previous two years.
Due to the lofty level of Northeast Missouri high school softball competition, the change is not expected to have nearly the same impact faced by the Rams. LaPlata was the smallest Class 2 basketball school in the state four seasons ago, and struggled in the post season.
Knox County has been assigned to softball Class 2 District 12. Clark County, Highland, Putnam, Schuyler and Scotland County round out the district. Putnam County has won 20 straight softball district championships. Highland and the Lady Midgets have won state softball championships in recent years.
The Lady Eagles ran into some of the toughest Class 1 schools in Missouri during their two year smallest enrollment class tenure. Cairo came out of the Knox County district to win the 2007 Class 1 state softball title.
Brashear will remain in Class 1 in all sports. The Lady Tigers remain in Class 1 District 9. Atlanta, Canton, LaPlata, Marion County, North Shelby and Novinger round out softball Class 1 District 9. Bevier won 17 games in 2007 and return six all Tri-County Conference players, including conference MVP pitcher Katelyn Tolle.
Bevier or Linn County will likely face the winner of the former Knox County district in the Sectionals. Putnam County won over 20 games last season and shared the conference championship with Schuyler County.
Softball districts are determined by dividing the total number of softball schools by four, creating an even number of schools in each class. The cutoff from softball Class 1 to Class 2 is around195-196.
Milan will be one of the two largest Class 1 softball schools in the state with 195 students listed in grades 9-12. The Lady Wildcats will compete in Class 1 District 14 with Green City, Grundy County, Cainsville, Mercer, Newtown-Harris and Princeton.
Milan failed to win a conference softball game in 2007. Paris remains in Class 1, and will compete with Clopton, New Haven, Community R-6, Wellsville and defending state runner up Silex for the District 8 championship.
Clarence Cannon Conference Centralia plays in Class 2 District 10 with Christian High School, Hallsville, Hermann, New Bloomfield and South Callaway.
New Bloomfield turned in an enrollment of 221 and will likely compete in baseball and basketball Class 2. The central Missouri school has been a perennial Class 1 playoff performer in several sports.
Two time defending Class 2 softball champion will compete in District 11 with Ellsberry, Louisiana, Mark Twain, Monroe City and Van-Far. Knob Noster is the largest Class 2 softball school in the state at 414. Fayette, Harrisburg, Carrolton, Lexington and Lafayette County join Knob Noster in Class 2 District 14.
District 13 includes the second largest Class 2 softball school in Missouri. Macon (413) and Brookfield (354) are the two biggest District 13 schools. Marceline (234), Salisbury (204), South Shelby (262) and Westran (210) round out the district.
Westran has faced Palmyra in the previous two Class 2 state softball championship contests. District 15 hosts the second smallest Class 2 softball school in Missouri.
Lathrop High School (198) will compete with Gallatin, Maysville, Hamilton-Penney (245), South Harrison (272) and Trenton (376) round out District 15.
Lawson has competed on a high level in Class 2 for years but will now test the Class 3 waters. Kirksville will play in Class 3 District 8 along with Moberly, Warren County, Bowling Green, Mexico and Montgomery County.
Hannibal High School will compete in softball Class 4 District 9 along with Ft. Zumwalt North and West, Holt, Timberland and Troy Buchanan.