Six R-2 sports affected by MSHSAA increase in classes

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 6/24/20

For six Owensville High School sports, they will have more opportunities to bring home district and state hardware beginning with the upcoming 2020-21 school year.

That is because the Missouri …

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Six R-2 sports affected by MSHSAA increase in classes

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For six Owensville High School sports, they will have more opportunities to bring home district and state hardware beginning with the upcoming 2020-21 school year.

That is because the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) will be adding a class to 10 sports starting with the upcoming school year.

Those sports include baseball, boys basketball, girls basketball, girls golf, boys golf, fall softball, spring softball, boys tennis, girls tennis and volleyball.

First-year Dutchmen head basketball and golf coach Cullen VanLeer will have two chances to get used to the new amount of classes in both sports.

“For golf, it should allow more kids the opportunity to reach the state (MSHSAA) championships which is a special feat,” VanLeer said. “For basketball, I think it will better separate schools based on size and will keep it more fair. We, like everybody else, will still have to play at a high level to move forward in the state playoffs.”

Gasconade County R-2 Athletic and Activities Director Ryan Okenfuss addressed the subject on several angles Tuesday afternoon.

“Increasing the number of classes for each of these sports does a few things,” Okenfuss said. “First, it ensures that district and state playoffs will match schools that are closer in size than before.”

Bringing up one instance, the MSHSAA Class 4, District 9 Basketball Tournament held at Union High School featured Rolla High School who is between two and three times are size.

“Secondly, by adding an extra class, MSHSAA has increased the number of teams that will be awarded a district championship, earn a trip to sectionals, a final four and eventually additional state championships,” Okenfuss said. “The need to add a class in these sports goes to show the health of athletics in Missouri schools. This growth shows that schools are continuing to add programs which provide additional opportunities for students to participate which we all can agree is a good thing.”

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