Soroco coach David Bruner speaks to his team before the team's last game of the 2009 season. Despite heading in to the contest with a 7-0 record, Soroco wasn't eligible to go to the playoffs. The team will be in 2010 and 2011, however. It will most likely be slotted in the North Conference and in a division alongside area rivals North Park, West Grand and Vail Christian.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Soroco coach David Bruner speaks to his team before the team's last game of the 2009 season. Despite heading in to the contest with a 7-0 record, Soroco wasn't eligible to go to the playoffs. The team will be in 2010 and 2011, however. It will most likely be slotted in the North Conference and in a division alongside area rivals North Park, West Grand and Vail Christian.

Soroco football team likely headed to North Conference

New classification would pit 8-man football team against North Park, West Grand

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— The Soroco High School football team’s future as a playoff-eligible 8-man program came one step closer to reality Tuesday, Athletic Director Andy Johnson said.

The Rams tentatively were slotted in the Central Division of the North Conference of the state’s 8-man football classification.

The Classification and League Organizing Committee of the Colorado State High School Activities Association met Tuesday in Aurora to continue the process of sorting out divisions and leagues for all of the state’s classifications for the 2010 and 2011 football seasons.

That move likely would offer the Rams the shortest travel distance of all the possible league affiliations, and it would help establish several area schools as football rivals.

Soroco would be in the same division as North Park High School, in Walden, and West Grand, in Kremmling, which is dropping down to play 8-man football for the first time.

Justice, in Boulder; Gilpin County, in Black Hawk; and Vail Christian likely will round out the six-team division.

“As far as travel, it’s good for us,” Johnson said. “Playoff-wise, it’s probably not the best fit if they continue to do the playoff season the way they have been.”

Soroco would face a tough fight if it’s to qualify for the 16-team playoffs.

The top four teams from each of the North Conference’s two divisions play one another in the ninth game of the season for the right to move on, with each division’s No. 1 finisher versus the other’s No. 4, and the No. 2 versus the No. 3.

The Plains division won all four of those matches this season and accounts for both of the 8-man teams that will meet Saturday in the state championship game. Undefeated Merino will play 11-1 Dayspring Christian.

The division designation isn’t final. CHSAA’s football committee will take a look at it and could tweak the decisions, and then another board will give a final vote on the alignments in January.

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