Bishop Gorman at center of fight over football realignment

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L.E. Baskow

Bishop Gorman players celebrate another trophy, this time over Liberty, following their high school football state championship game at Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016.

Fri, Dec 15, 2017 (6:23 p.m.)

There were many disagreements and debates at today’s Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association realignment committee meeting, but nearly all of them surrounded one school — Bishop Gorman.

Coaches, athletic directors and administrators from Southern Nevada met inside the auditorium at Chaparral High School, joined by their Northern Nevada counterparts to discuss the realignment of high school athletics.

Some schools wanted to move up a division, and some wanted to move down a division. But the one thing they all agreed on was they didn’t want to play Bishop Gorman in football.

“Give us a chance to get away from Gorman,” said Arbor View football coach Dan Barnson, whose team has been eliminated by Bishop Gorman six years in a row. During those six seasons, Arbor View is 49-4 against all other teams and 0-6 against Bishop Gorman.

“All of us in old Sunset (region) have been dealing with Gorman for a really long time,” Barnson said. “There have been some good teams in that Sunset region that would have loved a chance to play in the state championship game. This would allow someone new to get a chance.”

The four-hour meeting, a continuation of the last meeting on Dec. 7, saw the committee agree on classifications from 1A to 5A and the leagues within those classifications, but it couldn’t come to a decision regarding the postseason.

The newly created 5A classification will be split into two yet-to-be named leagues, which are only for football.

One will consist of Arbor View, Canyon Springs, Centennial, Faith Lutheran, Las Vegas and Legacy. The other will have Basic, Bishop Gorman, Coronado, Foothill, Green Valley and Liberty.

The most contested point of the meeting was whether Bishop Gorman and Las Vegas would swap places, but the committee eventually set the 5A classification on a 7-2 vote.

Barnson suggested having Bishop Gorman alternate between the two 5A leagues. “They can move back and forth very easily. Allow some of the old Sunset teams that have had this 800-pound gorilla for the last 10 years a chance to get away from that,” he said.

Bishop Gorman was represented at the meeting by Athletic Director and head basketball coach Grant Rice, who said Gorman had no problem switching divisions.

“We’ve said it over the last several years and we just want to reiterate that Bishop Gorman is fine with changing leagues on a yearly basis,” Rice said. “We can switch every year or every two years if it makes it easier for other teams.”

For sports other than football, the new 5A classification will consist of two leagues, one including Arbor View, Centennial, Faith Lutheran, Las Vegas, Palo Verde, Shadow Ridge and Rancho, and the other with Basic, Bishop Gorman, Coronado, Desert Oasis, Foothill, Green Valley, Liberty and Silverado.

No teams from Northern Nevada will compete in the 5A classification.

The other major change made today was moving Mojave and Chaparral from 3A to 4A.

Here are the proposed classifications and leagues for Southern Nevada:

5A football leagues

1: Arbor View, Canyon Springs, Centennial, Faith Lutheran, Las Vegas and Legacy.

2: Basic, Bishop Gorman, Coronado, Foothill, Green Valley and Liberty.

5A non-football leagues

1: Arbor View, Centennial, Faith Lutheran, Las Vegas, Palo Verde, Shadow Ridge and Rancho.

League

2: Basic, Bishop Gorman, Coronado, Desert Oasis, Foothill, Green Valley, Liberty and Silverado.

4A Southern football leagues

1: Palo Verde, Bonanza, Cimarron-Memorial, Shadow Ridge, Mojave, Desert Pines and Eldorado.

League

2: Desert Oasis, Sierra Vista, Durango, Spring Valley, Clark, Valley, Chaparral and Silverado.

4A Southern nonfootball league

1: Bonanza, Canyon Springs, Cheyenne, Cimarron-Memorial, Desert Pines, Eldorado and Legacy.

2: Clark, Durango, Sierra Vista, SECTA, Spring Valley and Valley.

3A Southern football league

Boulder City, Cheyenne, Del Sol, Democracy Prep, Moapa Valley, Pahrump Valley, Rancho, Sunrise Mountain, Virgin Valley and Western.

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