New classifications create new problems
The big chatter around the Mountain State this past week has surrounded the addition of a fourth class to high school basketball. With that in mind, I took a deep dive into finding out the lay of the land for the future of Hampshire High basketball. Given the parameters, I took the liberty of plotting each one of these schools on a mock map to help visualize the new expected AAA Class and their potential regional affiliates.
Calculation of Classes
There are 3 factors involved with determining class.
- Enrollment score - 70% of the total output.
- Location score - 20%
- Economic score - 10%
The enrollment score is a simple explanation based upon enrollment data. The Location score is based on 2 parts. Part 1 is determined by taking the school county’s population divided by the driving distance between the school and the county seat. Part 2 is calculated by finding the distance from the school to the closest city with a population of 10,000 or more.
The economic score is determined by the county’s median household income added to the county’s poverty rate. (All county data is based upon the most recent U.S. Census data.)
So what does all of this gobbly-goop technical jargon mean?
For Hampshire it means that we will stay in AAA while every other school in our current region will join AAAA.
With the loss of every school in Jefferson and Berkeley County, there will be a MAJOR shift in our regional tournament and the schools involved.
The following 28 schools are slotted for AAA classification listed in order of their total score: Ripley, Fairmont Sr., Shady Spring, Hampshire, Bridgeport, Robert C. Byrd, Nitro, Lincoln County, Oak Hill, East Fairmont, Herbert Hoover, Logan, Berkeley Springs, Lewis County, North Marion, Wayne, Point Pleasant, Pikeview, Sissonville, Grafton, Scott, Bluefield, Elkins, Nicholas County, Weir, Independence, Liberty, Philip Barbour.
The schools located in the southwest region of the state cut up nicely and have some natural separation based upon location. The AAA schools in the north will be separated but with some difficult decisions on how to cut it up appropriately.
Given the 28 teams, lets assume 7 teams per region that equates to 4 regions. Also lets assume schools located in the same county cannot be separated.
Here are my proposed regionals in AAA
- North (Green): Weir, Hampshire, Berkeley Springs, Fairmont Sr., East Fairmont, Grafton, North Marion
- Central (Orange): Ripley, Bridgeport, Robert C. Byrd, Lewis County, Point Pleasant, Elkins, Philip Barbour
- South (Gray): Liberty, Oak Hill, Pikeview, Shady Spring, Bluefield, Independence, Nicholas County
- West (Blue): Lincoln County, Wayne, Scott, Sissonville, Logan, Herbert Hoover, Nitro
Items of Note
- Weir is an ugly duckling all alone in the northern panhandle. Berkeley Springs and Hampshire are the only two schools isolated in the eastern panhandle. There is no clean way to cut up this region therefore it makes sense to have these 3 schools join the northernmost schools from the I-79 corridor.
- Hampshire has the lowest economic score out of all high schools in AAAA, AAA, or AA. (Elkins is tied with Hampshire at the bottom with an output score of .15)
- If the current enrollment numbers hold true in October (when the classifications become official), Hampshire will be the largest AAA school in terms of kids.
- Keyser is on the cusp of joining AAA as they currently sit with the highest total score in AA.
Once again none of this is official, however this analysis should provide some clarity on what to expect come October.
In case you wanted to know, these are the following 28 schools that are slotted to join AAAA and listed in order of their overall score:
Morgantown, Cabell Midland, Parkersburg, Huntington, Parkersburg South, Jefferson, Musselman, Wheeling Park, Martinsburg, Woodrow Wilson, Spring Mills, Capital, Hedgesville, University, Washington, George Washington, Hurricane, Riverside, Preston, John Marshall, Greenbrier East, Princeton Sr., Saint Albans, South Charleston, Winfield, Spring Valley, Brooke, Buckhannon Upshur.
The following 28 schools are slotted for AA and listed in order of their overall score: Keyser, Chapmanville, Frankfort, Lincoln, Roane County, Wheeling Central, Charleston Catholic, Poca, Liberty (Raleigh), Oak Glen, Williamstown, Braxton County, Mingo Central, Magnolia, Clay County, Wyoming County, Westside, South Harrison, Notre Dame, James Munroe, Huntington, St. Marys, Moorefield, Ravenswood, Wirt County, Buffalo, Ritchie County, Petersburg.
The other 40 remaining schools will be in Class A, including East Hardy and Paw Paw. o