Buckhannon-Upshur High School remains a AAA school in new classifications released by the West Virginia Secondary Schools Athletic Commission on Thursday.
According to the WVSSAC, schools will be reclassified based on the following enrollment guidelines:
- A – 0 to 450 students
- AA – 451 to 800 students
- AAA – 801-1,851 students
The new classifications will take effect next year and run through the 2023-24 season.
Little will change for the Bucs as most of their local rivals retain their previous classification. The big exception is Bridgeport, which will make the jump to AAA next year, along with Lincoln County and Oak Hill. In total, AAA grows from 29 to 32 schools in the new model.
With the Indians moving up a division, the Big 10 conference will now have three AAA teams – Bridgeport, B-U and Preston County.
The reclassification is the first since major changes rocked the Big 10 four years ago when many of B-U’s traditional foes dropped to AA, including Lewis County, Elkins and all the Marion County schools.
In the upcoming classifications, Fairmont Senior and Elkins just missed the cut for the 32-team AAA division and are the biggest schools in the AA bracket.
The state Board of Education also voted in July to approve a two-year trial for boys and girls basketball in which schools would be divided into four classifications – A, AA, AAA and AAAA. That is set to begin in the 2020-21 season, and those classifications were not released Thursday.