Starting next fall Park City High School will be in a more competitive athletic class, the school’s athletic director says that the higher level of competition will also mean less travel time for student athletes.
Park City High School athletic director Jamie Sheetz explains that the Utah High School Activities Association class alignments are based on enrollment numbers.
“The way 6A, 5A and 4A are determined is by the Senior/Junior populations. Put those two numbers together and remember you’re going off a previous number, so the kids that are Senior’s this year, they’re getting counted but they’re going to be gone during the next alignment but yeah, it’s primarily by enrollment.”
Park City High School has competed in Region 11 in the 4A class since fall of 2017. Sheetz was on the UHSAA’s re-alignment committee last year.
“We met four times to discuss procedures and protocols and then pass that on to the BOT (Board of Trustees) which then looks at the numbers, puts it all together and makes the final decision. For that, in the first consideration that was put out a few weeks back in November we were listed in the top of 4A as what’s called a bubble school. Meaning we were within five percent of the top school that was listed in 4A which was Stansbury. We’ve had quite a bit of success at the high school with the extra-curricular programs, I think everybody pretty much knows that. It was about time to have the conversation to look at the opportunity to maybe move up a class. Maybe cut some travel down a little bit, keep some kids in class longer get them home earlier.”
Sheetz reports he met with Principal Arbabi and the rest of administration to discuss which class they preferred.
“Discussed the pros and cons of what that would mean if we ask to go 5A. As a bubble school we were asked to declare right after Thanksgiving what our preference would be for class. We’re allowed to make that preference, we can’t say we want to be in this region or that region, but we can say what class we’d be in. We quickly had a meeting the week before Thanksgiving during two lunches with the students. I asked them their opinions, I showed them a few scenarios of what that might look like. Then we had a meeting with the parents as well to kind of discuss the scenarios. It was—I’m not going to say it was unanimous—but it was pretty close heavily to say, no we want to go 5A.”
Although Sheetz says they preferred to be in region 6 which contains schools on the Salt Lake valley east bench, Park City was assigned to compete in Region 5. The assignment came on Thursday evening after two public hearings by the UHSAA board. Region opponents will include Woods Cross, Bonneville, Viewmont, Farmington, Bountiful and Box Elder.
“So, you’re really looking at a much tighter area for 5A. Our teams pretty much already play all those 5A teams in non-region schedules. They feel they can compete with them. The students felt very positive about making the jump. Neither the kids nor the parents shied away from a little bit better competition.”
Park City will remain in 4A for football. South Summit high school will move to 3A in football and remain in 3A for all other sports. Wasatch remains in 5A and North Summit will remain in 2A.