For the first time since 2009, Maryville High School football finds itself in a position that has yielded familiar success.
On Aug. 23, MSHSAA announced the Spoofhounds would be dropping down to Class 2 for the 2019-20 school year. At first, the news was met with confusion. How could a team so successful be demoted a class? But that’s not how that works.
Starting last year, MSHSAA introduced a classification system where schools would be assessed annually instead of the usual two-year time frame. The Spoofhounds have been on the line of Class 2 and Class 3, regardless of the new structure, for the past three to four years.
This change was made to ensure there were no bye weeks for teams in districts. When teams were rewarded with byes, this created a war of attrition, thus prompting the state to do something about it.
Since the start of the new structure, there is no set “line,” per se. The boundaries are set each year in regards to a ratio. MSHSAA wanted to ensure fair competition, so the enrollment of the largest school couldn’t be doubled the smallest school.
Now, instead of being regarded as the smallest school in Class 3, the Spoofhounds will now be one of the biggest schools in Class 2.
Since the district playoff format in the 2012-13 school year, the seeding for the district tournament is based on points a team accrues in a season. A team is awarded points for a win and an additional 10 points for every class they play up.
For example, when the Hounds hosted Class 4 Harrisonville last season and recorded a 36-0 victory over the Wildcats, Maryville received district standing points for the win, the margin of victory and an additional 10 points for playing a team that was a class above them.
The potential for district points increases this season with Maryville’s schedule being made up of mostly Class 3 and 4 teams.
But with the change in class and the district point system, arises the struggle of setting a schedule. As Maryville reaches the end of their agreements with both Blair Oaks and Harrisonville, the Spoofhounds will be forced to look elsewhere for nonconference games — that being said, both Harrisonville and Blair Oaks could renew a deal.
In the situation where the latter doesn’t happen, it will be hard for Maryville to find opponents that want to play a rich in tradition Class 2 school. The Hounds will want to play up for their games but finding teams willing to play down will be an impediment.
When it comes to the competition, Maryville faired well in its last few years in Class 2
The last time the Spoofhounds participated in Class 2 action they were able to win the state championship while picking up a District 8 championship. Maryville was also runner up in the 2008 season.
That being said, the competition shouldn’t be looked down upon. Class 2 is filled with talent such as Lamar, Cardinal Ritter and district rival Lathrop.
Since Maryville left the ranks of the second class in 2010, Lamar has won seven of nine possible state championships. Cardinal Ritter finds themselves in a similar situation as after the Lions were runner-ups for Class 3 last season, they were reclassified to the class below.
Old friend coach Chris Holt has revived a Lathrop program that was able to topple the reign of Lamar last season as they finished runner-up in Class 2.
There is more to this book than the cover shows and with the season opener creeping closer, coach Matt Webb and company have an abundance yet to write.