By DAVID HUNTER
Changes are coming to Tennessee high school athletics, which affects every school in the state, including Cannon County.
The TSSAA Board of Control met along with many of the high school athletic directors, including CCHS AD Matt Rigsby on July 27 to finalize those changes. Some of them were positive ones, while others were negative ones for the Lions and Lionettes in most sports.
"They were faced with a lot of tough decisions," Rigsby said on Aug. 1. "Some I agree with, some I did not. It was great to see soccer go to three classifications that had to happen. Soccer is a great sport, and in the state of Tennessee it is an up and coming sport. To the credit of a lot of school systems, there has been so many more programs being added, so with the addition of all of those things, we need more soccer classifications."
At the same time, he was disappointed with the changes with basketball as there will only be three classes unlike football, which expanded to six Division I and now three Division II state champions coming up in December. In the meantime, he does not want to turn this into a football versus basketball argument.
"In terms of baseball, softball and basketball their decision to stay three classifications, personally I disagree with," he said. "It is hard to put my mind around, we have less schools in the state of Tennessee that play football, but we have six classes in Division I and three classes in Division II, so we will have nine state titles in football, but we have more schools playing basketball, and we will only have three state titles in Division I, and two in Division II. I do not necessarily understand that."
While, I do not believe in high school athletics that everyone should get a participation trophy for competing. At the same time, if they are going to have six champions in football all of the other sports should be the same across the board.
The next important TSSAA meeting will be in November when the new classifications come out, and there might be a huge change for CCHS coming up in the near future.
"The biggest implication is it is going to be a waiting game on where we get slotted come district play," Rigsby said. "There is a slight possibility we could become Class A. It all hinges on how many Division I private schools go to Division II. There are going to be major changes."
I would like to see a more even playing field for everybody around the state, regardless of their location.