The first time Booneville dropped to Class 3A in an Arkansas Activities Association bi-annual reclassification, the stay was for one two-year cycle.
This time, the stay will be longer.
The AAA released classification assignments for the cycle that will begin in 2020, last Wednesday and all Bearcat teams will remain in Class 3A.
Booneville’s average daily enrollment of 270 students is 16.67 students and five schools below the top of Class 3A, and 23 students fewer than the smallest non-private 4A school.
The Bearcat football schedule, however, will have to change as one school currently in the 3A-4 — Lamar — will be playing Class 4A football starting in 2020.
Lamar is one of the 16 Class 4A schools who will play as 3A in all other sports because, as is the case for this cycle, there is no Class 7A after football season.
Possible replacements to the league may be playing 2A football now as both Lavaca and Hackett, current members of Magazine’s 2A-4, will make the jump to 3A.
Possible replacements for Magazine’s league could include Yelleville-Summit.
According to the classification numbers Class 2A has only 40 schools committed to football creating a likelihood that multiple leagues will not have the customary eight teams.
Class 3A and 4A both have 48 football playing schools.
Part of the reason for the decline in the size of 2A is the growth of 8-man football, which was recognized only as a club sport during the current cycle and is not among the classifications for the the coming cycle.
Changes are also coming to the “other sports” conferences for both area schools.
The current cycle has Booneville and Fountain Lake in the same grouping but the Cobras will be Class 4A in all sports in the next cycle.
Magazine is also losing both Danville, who plays 3A football but is 2A in other sports this cycle but will be 3A in all activities, and ,again, Hackett will jump to 3A in all sports.
Lavaca remains in 2A for other sports after football and Mansfield is another of the schools who will drop from 3A to 2A after football.