The high school football season may be eight months away, but some big decisions affecting it are being made now.

This week the Alaska School Activities Association is working towards a plan for conference realignment. While a handful of sports are being considered, football is the headliner. 

"Scheduling for next year's sports and activities really hinges on your football calendar," said Billy Strickland, ASAA executive director.

This year some early fall maneuverings have added to the intrigue.

"With Juneau climbing (and combining with Thunder Mountain) and North Pole opting up (to Division 1), it just left a very small group at the Division II level." 

That necessitates the eight-person board to consider how many divisions there are and how many teams are in them. That can be a tough call.

"Classification by its nature-- you set lines and someone gets to be the largest school in their classification and someone, unfortunately, has to be the smallest," said Strickland. "It kind of creates a little bit of a winners and losers mentality."

With 29 teams and three tiers, former Dimond head coach Duncan Shackelford, a two-time state champion, now an assistant at East, says it all comes back to one important factor. 

"Number one, what's going to be best for high school football in the state of Alaska? Whatever we decide, it's that we're going forward. We not jumping back," he said. 

Shackelford would like to see a two-tier system. 

The meeting will continue Tuesday at The Lakefront Anchorage. More discussion is set for January 22. 

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