Why isn’t East Lake a 6A school?

Jimmy Skaaland, Staff Writer

     ELHS now has approximately 2500 students, and is the largest high school in the county.   In spite of this East Lake athletics are still in division 5A, while some smaller schools are in division 6A. Many people are wondering why this is.  The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) is in charge of placing all Florida high schools into different divisions. They do this by dividing the schools into different classes according to their total student population as of their fall semester on a biennial basis. District 5A schools are supposed to have a student population between 2015 and 2362 students, while 6A schools are supposed to have a population range of 2363-4147 students.

      The divisions range from 1B up to 6A.  Each division is then broken down into smaller district groupings, according to their location.  These are the teams you face in the regular season that you must beat out to get to the playoffs.  Schools in division 1B are schools that have between 48 and 258 students.  Some schools that are in this division include Calvary Christian from Clearwater, and Canterbury from St. Petersburg. On the other hand schools in division 6A have a student population of at least 2363.  Some schools in this division are South Dade, Miami Northwestern, and Miami Carol City.

                You may wonder why it even matters what division or district a school is in.  Basically what it means is that those are the other schools they will be competing against to get into state playoffs and throughout the state tournament.  Each division has some teams that seem to be dominant in multiple sports; making many people wonder why that school is not moved from one division to another in attempt to even out competition. This does not happen because the division system is not at all based on wins or losses.  

                Junior running back for the football team, Tyler Lane said “I think it would be good for East Lake to become a division 6A school, playing bigger schools could be a challenge at first but it would make us better.  Either way we’re going to do good this year and next year.”

     One reason a school may not be moved up is if there is a significant increase in student population in which case the schools classification is based on the projected student population for the following year. What all of this means is that for now East Lake is going to be staying a division 5A school, but that in next few years if it continues to grow it will become a division 6A school.