When Lawrence Free State High opens in 1997, it will be in Class 6A under football classifications announced Friday by the Kansas State High School Activities Association.
Free State High is projected to have an enrollment of 980 students while Lawrence High will have an estimated 1,200 students, making both schools big enough for the state's largest class.
Lawrence High and Free State have been assigned to Class 6A for the 1996 football season, although the new school will not compete. Class 6A will have just 31 schools for football playoff purposes in '96, but in '97 will have 32 with the two Lawrence schools.
Lawrence High has 1,836 students this fall, making it the biggest school in the state by far. LHS has nearly 500 more students than Shawnee Mission South (1,359). Manhattan is third with 1,353 enrolled.
Also, the KSHSAA announced Friday that Kansas City Harmon and Topeka Seaman will move into Class 6A this year for all sports except football.
Classifications for sports for the remainder of the current school year are based on enrollments in the 10th through 12th grades as of Sept. 22. Classes for football the next two years are based on enrollments in the ninth through 11th grades as of the same date.
Harmon, now with 825 students, and Seaman, with 805, displaced Kansas City Wyandotte, now with 783 students, and Shawnee Heights, now with 744, in Class 6A for all but football in the 1995-96 school year.
Moving up from Class 4A to 5A was Andover, which boosted its enrollment to 474 this fall. Augusta, now with 464 students, dropped from 5A to 4A, while those moving up from 3A to 4A were Andale (215), Lyons (202) and Jefferson West (203).
Baxter Springs (193), Effingham (188) and Royal Valley (186) dropped from 4A to 3A, while Wabaunsee (131), Wathena (129) and Jefferson North (126) moved up from 2A to 3A.
The KSHSAA divides the classes by placing the largest 32 high schools in Class 6A, next largest 32 in 5A, next 64 in 4A, next 64 in 3A, next 64 in 2A and remaining 111 in 1A.