By DAVE BELCHER
Moapa Valley Progress
The northern 3A will have another member in the league starting in the 2018 school year. North Valleys High School, just outside of Reno, will move down to the division from the 4A.
North Valleys had an enrollment of around 2,060 students last year with 657 of those students participating in sports programs. North Valleys has been in the 4A for 17 years since it has opened and has won two league titles since 2010, and one regional title in 2015; all in boys’ soccer.
The NIAA approved the move on June 19 in Reno.
The school’s athletic director and assistant principal presented several reasons for the school’s dropping to the 3A. The main reason was competitive balance.
Of course, North Valleys participation numbers may be low in the 4A. But that number is still more that the entire enrollment of Moapa Valley High School and close to that of Truckee. If the rubric, which is used in the south, were applied to the northern schools, North Valleys would have scored 36 points, according to reports by the Reno Gazette Jounal. That is 22 points higher than the 14, which qualified a 4A southern school to drop to the 3A.
In another decision, Wooster will be moved to the 4A after this season. Wooster’s football program has been competing in the 3A northern league. Now that program will be joining the rest of the school’s athletic programs that have been competing in the 4A and never dropped down.
Mammoth High School in Mammoth California is asking to join the NIAA. That will be discussed in a meeting at a later date. If approved this would give the NIAA a total of five schools from California an NIAA membership.
The others are Needles 2A, Truckee 3A, South Tahoe 3A, North Tahoe 3A and Coleville 1A. Beaver Dam in Arizona across the state line from Mesquite also is a member and belongs to the 1A.
It was not mentioned which league Mammoth would belong to. But it is assumed they will join the 2A with their enrollment of 297 students. That was their total in 2015.
The 4A/5A separation into two leagues is waiting on the northern 4A to decide what they want to do: stay in the 4A or move to the 5A with the larger/more successful schools in Las Vegas. Football will be aligned differently from the other sports with the classifications.
The 3A state football championship game in November of this year will be held over Thanksgiving weekend on Saturday, November 25. The game is scheduled for Reno unless two southern schools qualify for the championship game. It would then be moved south.
There will also be a soccer mercy rule to be applied this year. If a team is leading by eight or more goals at the end of 60 minutes in a game, the game will end.