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IHSA will wait another season before implementing success factor

The rule that threatened to keep Marian Central football from meeting its postseason nemesis Montini this fall won’t take effect for at least another year.

On Monday, the Illinois High School Association board of directors voted to postpone implementing the “success factor,” along with the multiplier waiver, until the 2015-16 school year. Under the success factor, teams from private or charter schools would be subject to moving up a class if they had made the final four in their respective sport.

Montini has defeated Marian Central in Class 5A football playoff meetings the past five seasons. It will now one wait a year before moving up classes, meaning the two could meet again this fall. The Broncos had originally been scheduled to move to Class 6A for 2014-15, and then Class 7A in 2015-16, leaving the Hurricanes behind in Class 5A.

“It makes sense,” said Marian Central Athletic Director Drew Potthoff, who is also a member of the IHSA legislative commission. “I didn’t have a problem with it the other way. I didn’t have a problem this way.”

The delayed implementation, though, could have the biggest impact on Marian Central’s girls’ volleyball team, which currently competes in Class 3A. 

“I think it’s great news for this year,” coach Laura Watling said. “The girls were ready for the opportunity to compete at the [4A] level because the schedule has always been a heavy 4A schedule. We weren’t going to shy away from it or anything. But we’re excited to hear about it.”

As the program took trophies in the Class 3A state tournament in 2010 and 2011, it was set to move up to Class 4A. Originally, if a team from a bracketed sport had reached two final fours over a four-year span, it would move up a class. But, according to Monday’s revisions, one of the trophies must have been won in the last two school years before it can move up.

Therefore, in order for girls volleyball to make the jump to 4A in 2015-16, it needs to secure a berth in the Class 3A state tournament semifinals this fall.

“I still don’t understand the reasoning behind the ruling,” added Watling, who favors a two-year evaluation period rather than a four-year period.

“It’s kind of unfair those kids who had nothing to do with it are being forced to play up because of a team from three or four years ago,” she said.

The move also keeps the Montini wrestling team at 2A for the 2014-15 season.

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