January 17. 2013 9:15AM
The Watertown School Board on Jan. 14 approved a petition to play class 11AA football for two years. With that done, the state’s high school alignments are in place for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years.
The alignments for all athletic activities will be finalized at the Feb. 27 South Dakota High School Activities Association board of directors meeting in Pierre.
The 2013-14 school year will be the first with Class 11AAA, a new competitive level that features the state’s eight largest schools.
The Class 11AAA division will feature Washington, Roosevelt, Rapid City Central, Lincoln, Rapid City Stevens, Aberdeen Central, Brandon Valley and O’Gorman, which petitioned to up to be in 11AAA.
The 11AA schools will be Yankton, Pierre, Mitchell, Brookings, Huron, Sturgis, Douglas, Spearfish and Watertown.
The state activities board voted last January to approve the new classifications for the 2013 and 2014 seasons after a series of proposals from Eastern South Dakota Conference schools. The common refrain from ESD administrators was that they can no longer compete with Sioux Falls teams, which have accounted for the past nine state Class 11AA titles.