Hillcrest High School asking to be moved from 5A to 4A status

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MIDVALE -- Hillcrest High School has an unusual request for the Utah High School Activities Association: It wants to be bumped from a 5A designation to a 4A.

Utah High School Classifications

ClassStudent population
1ABelow 150

To say Hillcrest's football season last fall was rough would be putting it mildly. With loss after loss, some said many of the games were pretty much over by halftime.

Basketball was a bit better: the boys' team won one game; softball and baseball were similar. Hillcrest attributes that, not to a lack of skill by their players, but instead to their 5A designation.

"It's not fair to our students to ask them to continually play this schedule, where they have bigger, stronger and more athletes," says Hillcrest Vice Principal Steve Bailey.

5A- Region 4

Lone Peak2058
American Fork1892
Pleasant Grove1819
Fall 2009, State Office of Education

A 5A school must have approximately 1,500 students. Hillcrest did back in 2007, which was the last time the Utah High School Activities Association classified schools. Now Hillcrest has a student body of just over 1,400 students.

The Activities Association won't reclassify until 2013, so Hillcrest plans to make a special request to drop to 4A.

"Our board is all about trying to create a level playing field. In this case, that was done at the time of the re-alignment based on the numbers," says Rob Cuff, with the Utah High School Activities Association.

Declining Enrollment at Hillcrest HS

YearEnrollment% Change
Hillcrest High School, UHSAA

But the association says changing a school's status is not as simple as it sounds. Representatives have to look at the impact a move would make on tournament schedules, and they point out there are other high schools in the same situation -- a school in Davis County dropped from 1,600 to 1,300 students, but it has not ask to be switched.

"Basically, I think our board is doing an exceptional job at letting Hillcrest express their views and concerns for a change," Cuff says.

Hillcrest will go before the Activities Association at 9 a.m. Thursday. School officials say they have the support of the PTSA, the school board and the district. They will also bring a letter from the directors of Region 4, expressing their support.

E-mail: sdallof@ksl.com

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