BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (Connect-Bridgeport) It’s official.
Starting next year Bridgeport High School will be Class AAA. And next year they will be the smallest Class AAA school in the state.
The WVSSAC Board of Governors wrapped up their meeting today and established the new guidelines for each class. Class AAA is for schools with 801 or more students, Class AA is for schools with 451 to 800 and Class A is for schools with less that 450 students.
Bridgeport, with 820 students, will be the smallest in West Virginia’s big-school classification. Morgantown is the largest at 1851.
“It’s not our first rodeo and not the first time we’ve been smallest in class,” said BHS Principal Matt DeMotto.
The situation will require some scheduling changes, particularly in football. In order to qualify for the postseason, each team must play six teams in their class to be eligible. There is a one-year grace period due to contracts being signed so BHS could maintain a similar schedule next year and potentially qualify for the postseason in football.
The real issue for Bridgeport is that the Big 10 Conference, counting Bridgeport, will only have three Class AAA teams – Buckhannon-Upshur and Preston will be the others.
“We’ll have look at the schedule and make some changes and the first thing we want to do and have to do is comply with Big 10 by laws. The purpose of a conference is scheduling, and we expect to play at least six Big 10 games going forward,” said DeMotto about football.
As for the other sports?
“I wouldn’t expect a ton of changes in the others,” said DeMotto. “Football is just a different animal, and next year, if we can’t get out of a contract by mutual agreement then we’ll still be playing some of the same teams.”
Big 10 foes Fairmont Senior and Elkins just missed the cutoff. The Polar Bears are the largest school at 799, while the Tigers have 798. Ravenswood is the largest Class A school with 450 students.
Officials knowing the situation said information provided by the WVSSAC saying re-classification begins in 2021-22 was a typo. It runs starting next year through 2023-24.
Check back to Connect-Bridgeport this weekend for more on the reclassification.