With the official start of the fall sports season less than a week away, The Classical Academy is putting the final touches on its move up to the Class 4A level.
“It’s been a pretty easy transition,” said TCA athletic director Gary Geiger. “The Metro League has been very respectful to us and I have a had a chance to meet or talk with most do the other athletic directors.”
TCA joins the Metro League in all sports it participates in. Football will remain at the 3A level because a different student-count system is used for that sport.
The student enrollment cut-off for sports other than football for 4A begins at 601. Geiger estimates TCA is at about 650. The 4A cut off is about 1,400, which makes TCA one of the smaller 4A schools in the state.
“We’ll be the little kid on the block,” Geiger said with a smile. “Our coaches know that, but we have such a high participation rate in sports I think we’ll be just fine.”
TCA will remain at the 4A level for at least a two-year cycle.
Interestingly, TCA has already been competing at the 4A level in several sports, boys and girls cross country and boys and girls golf.
TCA cross country coach Alan Versaw petitioned the Colorado High School Activities Association to allow his teams to move up to 4A beginning in 2012. The main reason was because TCA had dominated 3A for at least a decade and Versaw was looking for a challenge. His teams have performed very well at the 4A level, especially at the state events.
Golf has played at 4A because there is no 3A division; only 5A and 4A.
TCA does not compete in every CHSAA sanctioned sport. The sports it will compete in the 4A Metro League are cross country, golf, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls track, volleyball, boys and girls basketball, wrestling and baseball.
The Metro League consists of Woodland Park, Mesa Ridge, Mitchell, Widefield, Sierra, Canon City and Harrison. Canon City is new to the Metro League this year as well.
TCA has competed against many of those schools in most sports in recent years. The Titans have done very well in the process.
Among the many advantages of playing in the Metro League, according to Geiger, is the cutback in travel.
“Coming from the 3A Tri-Peaks League where we had to travel up to three-and-a-half hours to places like Lamar, Buena Vista, Salida, La Junta and Trinidad, a 15 or 20 minute bus ride is nothing,” Geiger said.
Geiger added that TCA also inquired about joining the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference, which is geographically an even better fit than the Metro League. But the teams that make up the PPAC are traditionally stronger than Metro League schools in most sports and the fit might not have been as good for TCA.
“We feel like we will have a little better success in the Metro League,” Geiger said.
Officially, the boys’ soccer team will play TCA’s first official game at the 4A level Aug, 21 when it hosts Lewis-Palmer. The Titan’s volleyball team will host Palmer Ridge Aug. 26.
“We needed to take this step up,” Geiger said. “If we want to be the best, we have to play the best.”