The Freeport basketball teams would move up to Class A next winter under a recommendation from the Maine Principals’ Association’s Classification Committee. Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald Buy this Photo

AUGUSTA — Cony High School is set to move from Class A to Class B in several sports during the next two years based on an initial recommendation from the Maine Principals’ Association’s Classification Committee.

Cony’s enrollment has steadily declined in recent years – it has 630 students, according to state enrollment figures for April 1, 2020.

The move to Class B would begin in the fall of 2021 and go through the spring of 2023 as part of the MPA’s two-year classification schedule.

Other notable changes include the Hampden Academy basketball teams moving to Class AA from Class A. Freeport basketball will jump from Class B South to Class A South, while York and Medomak Valley would drop from Class A to Class B South in basketball. Oceanside basketball would shift from Class B North to B South.

In girls’ lacrosse, Portland would move to Class A North from Class B, and in swimming, Falmouth and Westbrook would drop from Class A to Class B. Wiscasset would move from Class C South to D South in baseball, softball and soccer.

Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield would drop from Class B in most sports to Class C. The MCI football team would drop from Class C to Class D. The Huskies were the state runner-up in Class C in 2019. MCI’s enrollment is now 334, almost 100 fewer students than the 433 from the previous classification cycle.

There are still a few steps to complete before the new classification is finalized. First, schools have until Friday to submit an appeal, which would then be heard Monday by the MPA classification committee, said MPA assistant executive director Mike Bisson.

Following any changes made by the Classification Committee, the proposal would go to the MPA’s Management Committee on March 25. The Management Committee could hear any appeals not granted by the Classification Committee. From there, the proposal will go to the full MPA membership for approval in late April.

Both Cony and MCI would drop a class in each of the following sports: baseball, softball, cross country, field hockey, golf, soccer and tennis. MCI’s cooperative boys’ lacrosse team with Nokomis would drop from Class A to Class C.

Since coming to Cony nine years ago, girls’ soccer coach Jeff Hersey has seen participation decline. Part of that is the addition of volleyball, which gave athletes another option, and increased athletic participation across the board for Cony girls, a move Hersey supports. Part of the decline in soccer participation stems from having fewer students, Hersey said.

“I would have 40 girls between varsity and junior varsity. Now if I get 25, that’s a big number,” Hersey said.

For the MCI field hockey team, playing in Class C will not be a new experience. The Huskies won the Class C state title in 2015 and lost in the state final in 2016 before moving back to Class B in 2017.

Among other changes for Central Maine schools in the proposal, Mt. View golf would move from Class B to Class C, while Oak Hill tennis would drop from Class B to Class C. The Mt. Blue outdoor track and field would move up from Class B to Class A.



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