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Making note of OSSAA’s ADM movement

July 31, 2022 - 00:00
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The OSSAA recently released its preliminary Average Daily Membership (ADM) numbers for the 2022- 23 school year.

The numbers are essentially the enrollment figures in grades 9-12 for each member school for the previous year and they’re used for classification purposes for all OSSAA activities.

Sports like football, baseball (Classes 3A-6A) and softball (2A- 6A) only have to worry about the ADMs every other year.

They’re on two-year cycles where they are locked into their districts.

Football, for example, will begin the new two-year cycle this season.

They used ADMs released in 2021 to set the current cycle (Yes, the size of the graduating class of 2021, which finished its football in 2020, does factor into where a school will be playing as far out as 2023, but that’s another column).

But other sports clamor for these numbers every year.

Volleyball and basketball are some of the main ones.

My brother-in-law in Piedmont has been fretting all summer about the fate of that school’s volleyball classification.

The Lady Wildcats were right at the top of Class 5A last season as far as ADMs go and made a magical run to the state semifinals, the best finish in school history.

With a majority of that team coming back, Piedmont has even bigger expectations in this 2022 season…but it’s a school that’s growing steadily.

A move up to Class 6A has been a real possibility and achieving those lofty goals in the state’s highest class is considerably tougher than 5A.

When the ADM’s were released, Piedmont was the 33rd biggest school in the state….the largest in 5A and one spot from being in 6A.

Schools have a finite amount of time to contest the published numbers and get them corrected, whether it’s more or less.

Some of that change is already taking place.

Piedmont on Monday was No. 33. As of Thursday morning, Piedmont had been moved up to No. 32, which puts it in 6A in volleyball…and prompted yet another text from said brother-in-law.

Midwest City, which was at No. 31, apparently got its number corrected with a number that was about 34 students fewer, pushing it down to No. 33 on the list (and in 5A).

Piedmont also listed four fewer students in the updated version, but still moved up the list.

But there’s still solid hope for Piedmont to be in Class 5A. I’ll tell you why in the paragraphs below.

But outside of my mother and grandmother, very few of my readers care about Piedmont volleyball. That was a shameless plug for my niece, who is entering her final season.

An outside hitter, Kaylie Michael Marshall, is the reigning Suburban Conference Most Valuable Player.

But you do care about basketball and there’s always a lot of local suspense about where teams are going to fall on the ADM lists.

A quick tutorial:

• There are 478 schools listed on the OSSAA’s ADM chart

• It starts at the very top as the largest 32 schools fall in Class 6A

• The next 32 are 5A, the next 64 are 4A. Class 3A and 2A also have 64 teams each

• Class A consists of the next 96 and then the remaining 100-plus are Class B.

Now, it’s not THAT easy to determine the classes.

There’s also the “non-public school” rules, better known as the private school bump rule.

Essentially, if a school meets the criteria to be a non-public school (aka a private school), then it can be moved up a class if it achieves a certain level of success.

For instance, in basketball AND in volleyball, if a school reaches the state tournament in two of the previous three years, it will be moved up one class from its ADM designation the next year.

In basketball, it doesn’t matter if the boys team hasn’t won a game in three years. If the girls team meets that success criteria, both will be moved up.

Unfortunately for Kingfisher, some of the most consistently successful private schools are in Class 3A, according to their ADMs.

If you’ll remember last year’s 4A boys state tournament, it was the three Western Athletic Conference teams (Kingfisher, Blanchard and Weatherford) and then five private schools (Crossings Christian, Holland Hall, Mount St. Mary, Victory Christian and Heritage Hall).

Of those five, only Mount St. Mary doesn’t meet the criteria to move up one class. However, that school already falls in 4A.

The other four fall in 3A, therefore will be back in 4A this season.

On top of that, the defending champ Jackets will also have to deal with Oklahoma Christian School and Community Christian, both of which now meet that criteria after strong showings the last couple of years.

So, a pool already polluted - for lack of better words - with non-public schools just got even murkier.

As for the 4A girls, Holland Hall has been a stalwart at the state tournament and now Lincoln Christian - a semifinalist in 3A each of the last two years - should be joining the fun.

Of course, like the boys, the Lady Jackets were battle-tested by the state tournament as half the 4A field came from their own conference.

• • • The happiest person in the county is Brady Page, Hennessey’s boys basketball coach.

All that “bumping up” I was talking about also means schools get moved down as a result.

For example, if three schools get moved from 3A to 4A, then the three smallest 4A schools (according to ADM) are pushed down into 3A.

(Ed. note: And this is the promised payoff from above regarding Piedmont volleyball. Bishop Kelley in Tulsa is a 5A school as far as the ADM’s go, but meets the criteria to move up a class in volleyball. Therefore, the smallest 6A school - Piedmont in this case - moves down to 5A to make room for the school moving up.)

(Ed. note, Part II: Tennis and volleyball are the only two sports in which teams can be bumped up to the state’s highest class, 6A in our case. In all other sports, no non-public school can be bumped up from 5A to 6A. You learned something today.)

Back to local basketball.

Last year, Hennessey was the third-smallest 3A school, meaning there was a chance it could move down to 2A.

However, only two schools met the criteria to bump up, making Hennessey, essentially, the smallest 3A school (the last one in, if you will).

Making it a tougher pill to swallow is that Hennessey’s ADM missed being down in 2A by less than one student (0.65 to be exact).

Well, that’s not the case now.

Hennessey’s current ADM (224.71) has it sitting in Class 2A and doesn’t need the help to be “bumped down.”

Again, schools have a window to contest their numbers and nothing is official until early August, but it looks as though the HHS squads will be competing in 2A.

Come playoff time, especially for the boys, that could be the difference between competing for a spot in the state tournament and struggling to get out of the regional tournament.

• • • Three local schools have experienced significant growth the last couple of years.

First, a look at where everyone sits right now (again, these numbers could potentially change before approval):

• Kingfisher’s ADM is 394.29, which is 116th among member schools

• Hennessey is 224.71 (size) and 194 (rank)

• Cashion is 205.37 and 213

• Crescent is 192.72 and 223

• Okarche is 113.02 and 309

• Lomega is 63.48 and 415

• Dover is 55.24 and 433

Kingfisher (-18.34), Hennessey (-0.51) and Okarche (also -0.51) have seen a decrease in their ADMs from last year’s approved numbers. Last year, if you’ll recall (but if you don’t, it’s my job to remind you), more than 300 schools reported a drop in their ADMs from the previous year, no doubt a result of COVID-19.

Three local schools last year bucked that trend: Crescent, Cashion and Dover.

Those three schools are continuing to see sizable increases.

Crescent’s ADM is 19.86 students higher than a year ago and has increased nearly 30 students over two years.

For Cashion, this year’s bump of 18.54 students is significant in that it now has an ADM of over 200. Last year’s (2021-22) enrollment numbers for the entire district the first week of school were up 100 from the beginning of 2020-21. It certainly will be interesting to see how much that increases again this year as the district tries to prepare for its impending increased growth.

Dover is up 9.77 students this year and nearly 20 over the last two years.

Lomega this year is up 3.4 students over last year. It’s the only local district that didn’t repeat its trend of a year ago, when it was down in numbers.

Just like last year, Broken Arrow is the largest school in the OSSAA and Freedom the smallest.

Freedom’s ADM is 14.91, which is actually an increase of 1.64.

BA sits at a whopping 5,559.00, which is 323.5 more than last year.

It’s also more than 1,000 students larger than the No. 2 school on the list, Union (4,524.86).