Cats avoid class jump in softball; Raiders move down

From Herald Staff Reports

One Jasper team is staying in Class 3A after all.

The IHSAA announced its classifications for baseball and softball Monday, and the Wildcats will remain in 3A for softball in the next two-year classification cycle, which covers the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. Jasper’s baseball team will be bumping up to play the 4A tournament, along with the volleyball and boys and girls basketball teams as classifications for those sports were already announced a few months ago.

Southridge will also undergo a change for the next two-year cycle, as the Raiders will move down to 2A in baseball and softball after competing in 3A for the last several years.

Jasper wound up right on the cutoff line in baseball as the last team in 4A, making the Wildcats the smallest 4A baseball school after they’d previously been one of the largest in the 3A field. Dividing lines are drawn differently in each sport, and with fewer schools fielding softball programs statewide, the softball cutoff line was higher and allows Jasper to remain in 3A for softball.

Southridge is likewise near a dividing line for 2A and 3A, and for the next two years of the cycle, the Raiders will compete in 2A tournaments in three sports (baseball, softball and volleyball) and 3A in two others (boys basketball and girls basketball). Southridge will also be in 2A for both the six-class tournament for football and the three-class tournament for soccer.

The other three local schools will remain in their familiar classes for baseball and softball for the next cycle, with Heritage Hills in 3A, Forest Park in 2A and Northeast Dubois in 1A. One notable change is Tecumseh — which has long been a postseason hurdle for Northeast Dubois — will move from 1A to 2A in softball because of the IHSAA’s success factor. The Braves will remain in 1A for baseball.

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