It's January, but it's okay to think high school football. Monday, the Alaska School Activities Association decided on the much-awaited realignment of its football divisions. Despite the early discussion of moving from three to two "super divisions" it will remain at three.

Division I will have 10 teams split into two conferences, the Cook Inlet and Railbelt. What's eye-catching here is the number of teams qualifying. Eight of the 10 teams will make the post-season.

Division II will consist of eight teams in two conferences, the Northern Lights and Railbelt. Six-time state champion Soldotna, which holds a 59-game win streak, is in the Northern Lights. Assuming the Stars continue their dominance, it means a tussle for the second spot will ensue among Eagle River, Kenai and Kodiak.

In Divison III, the 11 teams are split six (Greatland) and five (Peninsula). The sledding remains tough with only four of the 11 reaching the post-season. 

"The cost factor to schools in limited budgets, and so forth, was a contributing factor. I think there was a lot of things going on, and it was time to relook at where we had teams placed,” said Billy Strickland, ASAA executive director.

Bartlett co-head coach John Jessen also approved of the changes. Bartlett won the Division I title this year.

"The other decision would have been to split all of our teams in half. That wouldn't have been good because I think we would have lost some of the smaller schools playing football," Jessen said.

Some of the notable changes:

2017 Division I state champion Bartlett will leave the CIC for the Railbelt joining Juneau, Wasilla, Colony and Chugiak.

Where's Thunder Mountain? After combining forces with Juneau, it loses the name but will compete in Division I's Railbelt. 

West Valley and Lathrop move to Division II's Railbelt.  

Palmer says in Division II but moves from the Northern Lights to the Railbelt.

Redington leaves the Peninsula for Greatland.

Ketchikan drops from Division II to Division III. 


Cook Inlet                                          Railbelt

Dimond                                              Bartlett

East Anchorage                               Chugiak

Service                                               Colony

South Anchorage                             Juneau

West Anchorage                              Wasilla

Playoffs:  Top four teams in each conference advance to the playoffs.

Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals hosted by the higher seed. 

CIC #1 v. Rail #4                   Rail #1 v. CIC #4,

Rail #2 v. CIC #3                   CIC #2 v. Rail #3

ASAA host the Finals.  Home team to be determined by ASAA.


Division II (two conferences)

Northern Lights                                            Railbelt

Eagle River                                                    Lathrop

Kenai                                                              North Pole

Kodiak                                                            Palmer

Soldotna                                                        West Valley

Playoffs:  Top two teams in each conference advance to the playoffs.

Semi-Finals and Finals hosted by ASAA.

NL #1 v. Rail #2                                Rail #1 v NL #2


Division III

Greatland                                                      Peninsula

Barrow                                                           Homer

Eielson                                                           Ketchikan

Houston                                                         Nikiski

Monroe                                                          Seward

Redington                                                      Voznesenka                                      


Playoffs:  Top two teams in each conference advance to the playoffs.

Semi-Finals hosted by higher seed and Finals hosted by ASAA.

GL #1 v. Pen #2                                            Pen #1 v. GL #2

Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved. 


Solving the puzzle: ASAA looking at realigning HS football divisions