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Northern schools opt to remain in Class 5A for spring sports

Northern Nevada schools will remain in the top classification of high school sports for the spring season.

The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Realignment Committee gave preliminary approval at a meeting Tuesday in Reno to realignment proposals for all eight spring sports for the upcoming two-year cycle, which begins this fall.

Northern representative Art Anderson said during the meeting that Northern schools decided to stay in Class 5A for all spring sports. That decision will keep Northern and Southern leagues in the top classification.

The decision comes as the NIAA concludes its second realignment cycle of reclassifying schools on a sport-by-sport basis. This cycle, Northern schools had the option to decide if they wanted to stay in 5A for the top classification or drop to 4A.

The top football division, 5A Division I, will be made up of seven Southern schools and no Northern schools. The top Northern schools elected to drop to 5A Division II.

In boys and girls basketball, 5A will be Southern schools only, with 5A Northern schools dropping to 4A. Girls golf and girls soccer will also have only Southern schools in 5A.

The North elected to remain in 5A baseball despite recent struggles against Southern teams — the reason cited for the North’s decision to drop down from the top football division and basketball classification.

Southern teams were 6-0 against the North in the last two state baseball tournaments and 12-6 in regular season meetings over the last two years.

Douglas won the 5A softball title for the North this season.

In the NIAA’s realignment proposal, 11 schools will make up 5A Southern baseball; Bishop Gorman, Basic, Desert Oasis, Faith Lutheran, Shadow Ridge, Centennial, Coronado, Green Valley, Foothill, Liberty and Palo Verde.

Arbor View, Cimarron-Memorial, Las Vegas, Spring Valley and Rancho would drop from 5A to 4A. Shadow Ridge and Foothill, which have won the last two 4A baseball state titles, would move to 5A.

Ten Southern schools will be in 5A softball; Green Valley, Shadow Ridge, Centennial, Arbor View, Bishop Gorman, Palo Verde, Liberty, Faith Lutheran, Silverado and Coronado.

Foothill, Basic, Desert Oasis, Sierra Vista and Rancho would drop from 5A to 4A. Silverado and Gorman are moving up from 4A to 5A. The Gaels won the past two 4A softball titles.

Postseason tournament formats for spring sports were discussed, but no decisions were made by the committee.

There will be another meeting June 7 for schools to appeal their placements.

The realignment proposals and tournament formats are still pending final approval from the NIAA Board of Control, whose spring meetings are June 14 and 15.

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlexWright1028 on Twitter.

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