The state tournament success of Gibault Catholic High School boys soccer over the past three seasons has resulted in the IHSA bumping the program up to Class 3A for the upcoming season.
The Hawks placed third in Class 1A in 2016, second in Class 2A in 2017 and fourth in Class 2A in 2018.
The IHSA’s success adjustment policy applies only to non-boundaried schools. It was implemented several years ago as a measure to level the playing field between private and public schools. This reclassification is not permanent, so Gibault boys soccer could be moved back down a class in the future depending on the program’s success in Class 3A.
Gibault athletic director Jim Montgomery said the school appealed this decision to the IHSA, but the appeal was denied.
Gibault has a listed enrollment of 213 students, according to the IHSA.
“We are a small school that is designed to operate very well at the 1A level against opponents who have the same challenges we do in terms of numbers,” Montgomery said during the appeals hearing. “For the next couple of years, we know that our talent level will be down, and with the regular season schedule we play we’re going to take our lumps and probably draw a high seed in the 3A postseason. We are concerned about ripple effects possibly on enrollment, maybe even budget. I don’t think this is the intent of the (IHSA) bylaw.”
Montgomery added he understands that the recent success of the boys soccer program has earned Gibault a spot in the next higher class.
“But no other division can go up two classes in soccer – only a 1A school,” Montgomery said. “And we are the only boys soccer team in the state who is playing up two classes.”
The Columbia and Waterloo boys soccer teams compete at the Class 2A level. Valmeyer competes at the Class 1A level.