Grayslake Basketball Moves Back to 3A

Justin Parmer, Sports Editor

The varsity girls basketball team will not be able to defend their 4A Regional title this season. They won’t be in 4A at all. 

Over the past six seasons, both the boys and girls basketball programs have played in the 4A class as one of the smallest schools in class. However, due to enrollment numbers being lower than previous years this past school year, the Rams fell below the 4A cutoff line by two students sending the Rams back down to 3A for the first time since 2012. 

“This is good news.” said athletic director Brian Moe “I think it’s good for them to play it back [in 3A].”

 The IHSA classifications are based on the number of students enrolled from the previous school year. The IHSA then divides the schools up equally based on the number of students attending each school into separate classes. That way the small schools play small schools play small schools and big schools play big schools in the postseason. For both boys and girls basketball, the IHSA has 4 classes which means the Rams have played teams twice the size of Grayslake Central. But with the Rams falling below the cutoff line this past offseason, the Rams will now be the biggest school in a class with a ranging between 546 students and 1353 sized schools.  

“It’s just a change in mindset” said Kosta Kougias, the head coach for the varsity boys basketball team…“it’s getting the kids up and ready for that mindset of having to go up against a school you know maybe with two to three times the amount of students that we have that’s a tough thing. Whereas now you’re looking at that 3A sectional, and you look at our school and, you know we are by population one of the largest 3A schools.”

The change in class will not be noticeable during the regular season because the Rams will still face tough competition. Despite playing in a lower class, the Rams will continue to compete against 4A teams both in non-conference and conference play. 

“When I put the schedule together for us, I don’t really look a lot at whether schools or 3A or 4A.” said Steve Ikenn the head coach for the varsity girls basketball team… “When I’m looking for games to play, I try to find the best teams I can find, because yeah, you want to play the best during the season. So that way when you get to those high-pressure games with the postseason, you are battle tested.” 

The girls will attempt to translate last season’s Regional championship in 4A into to success in the 3A state tournament. The 2017-2018 Girls basketball team was the first time in school history to win at the 4A level. 

On the boys side, the goal will be to still be standing at sectionals. The last the Rams made it to the round of 32 was in 2012 when they beat Grayslake North for the Regional crown.