By Jacob Misener

Class C-1 & C-2 football to see major changes in 2014


Image courtesy of Vicki Stull

Jake Reader forces the Perkins County quarterback to pitch on an option during a game last season. Kimball will be affected by the format changes announced by the NSAA last week, which expand the regular season and shrink the playoff field.

Making the cut in Class C-1 and C-2 football will be a lot harder come 2014.

Last week, the Nebraska School Activities Association Representative Assembly approved a series of changes that will lead to more regular season games, and fewer playoff teams.

The changes will increase the regular season schedule of C-1 and C-2 schools to nine games from the current eight game-format, and send a total of 16 teams to the playoffs – half the number that currently advances to postseason play. Furthermore, the bracket will no longer have an East-West division.

“The nine game schedule will be great, to get to play one more regular season game in there,” said first-year Kimball head coach Nick Kuxhausen. “I always thought 32 teams (in the playoffs) was quite a bit. I thought something more around 24 would be more realistic. Cutting to 16 just means we’re going to have to play better in the regular season.”

Kimball is coming off a 4-4 record last year that netted the team a third straight playoff appearance. However, Kuxhausen believes that under the new format, it could prove more difficult for teams near .500 to advance to the playoffs.

“It’s obviously going to make it a lot tougher,” said Kuxhausen, who was an assistant coach at Kimball last season. “You’re going to have to go 7-2, 6-3 to get in. We’re going to have to really pick it up against competition this year.”

In last Friday’s meeting, NSAA executive director Rhonda Blanford-Green detailed one of the motivators for the decision to make the adjustment.

“We saw a red flag in basketball this year,” she said. “Attendance was down. Even though something seems equitable, we need to think about how we enhance tournaments. Trying to be equitable and trying to sell tickets don’t always match.”

For Kimball, which is seeking its fourth-straight postseason berth, the new system adds weight to the meaning of a playoff spot.

“It’s definitely going to mean more for us now,” said Kuxhausen.


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