Bulldog squads in Class 4 District 10 for 2014-15 campaign.
The Rolla High School boys’ and girls’ basketball teams have been moved down to Missouri Class 4 for the 2014-15 school year, the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) announced on Saturday.
It’s the first time in recent memory that Rolla has not been ranked in the state’s top classification, which is determined by student enrollment.
“I don’t know when they started the different classifications, but I don’t remember us not being in the largest classification before,” said RHS boys’ basketball coach Mark Miller, who is a Rolla native who played for the Bulldogs and graduated from RHS in 1980.
“I haven’t really thought about it, but I don’t remember a time when Rolla wasn’t playing against the largest school (classification),” said Dwaine Miles, who coached Rolla High boys’ basketball in the 1960s.
Rolla has been inserted in Class 4 District 10 for next season, along with Dent County neighbor Salem as well as School of the Osage, Marshfield, Jefferson City Helias and Eldon. Helias finished third in this past season’s Missouri Class 4 State Tournament.
“We’ve got a challenging district, in that we’ve got one of the Final Four teams in Helias,” Miller said. “As a matter of fact we’ve added them to our schedule in the regular season.
“I’ve talked to our coaches about it and they’re all excited. I think we’re in a position to have as good an opportunity as we’ve had.”
Rolla has the bulk of its varsity roster back from this past season’s 15-11 squad, including leading scorers Caleb Copeland (a 6-4 forward who averaged 15.1 points and 6.8 rebounds) and Kobe Wands (a 5-10 guard who averaged 12.2 points, 4.8 assists and 2.8 steals).
The Class 4 District 9, which will be the likely opponent for the District 10 champion in sectional action, includes Union, Sullivan, St. Clair, Pacific and Owensville of the Four Rivers Conference, along with St. Francis Borgia.
Another Ozark Conference team which moved down a class was Springfield Glendale, which is now in Class 4 District 11 along with league rivals Springfield Hillcrest and West Plains as well as Aurora, Logan-Rogersville and Reeds Spring.
Also, defending Class 4 boys’ state champion, Republic, has moved up to Class 5.
“To me it’s very motivating,” Miller said. “We certainly feel like we’ve got the athletes who can compete in Class 4 or 5. But when you’re at the top of the hill as far as enrollment (like Rolla now is), we’ve got a level playing field. Finally.”
In the past several years Rolla has been one of the smallest Class 5 student enrollment basketball schools.
The Newburg basketball teams continue to be in Class 2 District 9. Other District 9 teams are Cabool, Crocker, Hartville, Laquey, Plato, Richland and Stoutland.
Maries County schools Vienna and Belle are in Class 2 District 8, along with Iberia, Calvary Lutheran, Linn, New Bloomfield, Russellville and Tipton.
2014-15 Class 4 District 10
Jefferson City Helias
School of the Osage