High School Sports

East St. Louis reclassified in basketball and track and field

East St. Louis players are introduced before a 2017 game against Southwestern Conference rival Edwardsville.
East St. Louis players are introduced before a 2017 game against Southwestern Conference rival Edwardsville. BND File

The East St. Louis High School basketball and track and field programs were each moved down a class Wednesday as the Illinois High School Association released its classifications for activities for the upcoming 2017-18 school year.

After winning the Class 3A boys state track and field title in 2016 and placing second behind Southwestern Conference rival Edwardsville at the 2017 state finals last month, the Flyers boys and girls will compete in Class 2A during the 2018 season.

The Flyers boys and girls basketball programs have dropped from Class 4A to Class 3A next season.

According to IHSA enrollment numbers, East St. Louis currently has 1,289 students. IHSA enrollment numbers for track and field are 554.01 to 1,357 to compete in Class 3A in basketball and 471.01-1,301 to compete in Class 2A track and field.

Competing in a smaller class figures to have an affect on two of the more successful athletic programs at East St. Louis. Both the boys and girls basketball teams will have new head varsity coaches in the upcoming season, and the Flyers dropping to Class 2A in track and field will only fuel the rivalry with nearby Cahokia, which has been the dominant Class 2A track and field program in the state for the past several years.

When reached for comment late Wednesday, East St. Louis High School Athletic Director Leonard Manley said he will meet with coaches soon.

“I really don’t have much to say until I sit down with our coaches and get their thoughts and ideas about being moved into different classes,” Manley said. “I don’t know if they will want to move up a class or compete where we are.

“I do know that no matter what our coaches and athletes will line up and compete to the best of their ability each night.”

Althoff boys basketball remains in Class 4A, Gibault boys soccer moves up

One year after winning the Class 3A boys state basketball title, the Althoff Cruaders learned Wednesday that they will remain in Class 4A a second straight year due to the IHSA’s Success Adjustment Multiplier.

According to the IHSA, the Success adjustment is when “a non-boundaried school that has won two trophies in the same class over the past four school terms, and at least one trophy in the past two school terms, is subject to the success adjustment.” Althoff was the Class 3A state tournament runner-up in 2015 before winning the title in 2016.

The Gibault boys soccer program was one of several athletic programs from around the state which was moved up a class Wednesday. The Hawks will compete in Class 2A after placing third in the Class 1A state tournament this season.

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