NACI will stay "AA" for now


By Eoin Devereux

The Neepawa Banner

Athletics at Neepawa Area Collegiate Institute will remain at the “AA” level, for now. There have been discussions recently across the community suggesting high school sports programs would be elevated to “AAA” for the 2015-2016 season. 

Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association executive director Morris Glimcher said there are no plans to make this shift in the immediate future, but added that it is something that’s likely to occur within the next few years.

“One of the requirements for a move to ‘AAA’ is enrolment numbers over 300 students between grades nine and 12. As of February, Neepawa had 297 students enrolled, so it’s something we are keeping an eye on,” said Glimcher. “To be clear however, it’s not something we immediately do. We review the long term enrolment expectations over the next two to four years and make decisions based on those long term projections.”

Glimcher also stressed that the MHSAA works with the school to ensure any transition is seamless and serves the student athletes’ best interests.

“We will not mandate changes the moment a school is at 301 [enrolment]. If a program has a little more than 300 eligible students enrolled, we look at what best serves the school,” said Glimcher. “Once it’s apparent that a school has out grown its existing level of play and will remain at that new level for an extended period though, we work with them to shift into the appropriate category. When that point comes for Neepawa and it’s going to happen, that it needs to shift the ‘AAA’, we ensure there is an extended period of adjustment for everyone. We will not contact NACI in August and tell them, ‘You’re playing triple A in September.’ There will be at least a six month to a year notice to make it work.” 

Beautiful Plains School Division superintendent Jason Young said the division keeps in contact with the MHSAA on its enrolment numbers and is making the proper adjustments to ensure the change is positive one, when it eventually does happen.