For seven seasons Wahoo had competed in Class B, but that changed for the '94-'95 season as the Warriors dropped down to Class C1 (in a six class system: A, B, C1, C2, D1, D2). The reason for the change was not a dramatic decrease in enrollment, but rather a realignment of the classes by the Nebraska State Activities Association. The top class (A) was reduced to the top 24 teams and Class B became the next 32 schools. The net result was that some of the smallest class A schools became Class B and a large number of schools at the bottom of Class B became Class C1. The need for the realignment can be illustrated by examining Wahoo's experience in the Class B state tournament from 1991 to 1994*. Wahoo was consistently one of the smallest schools in the Class B field. Even more significant was the difference between Wahoo's enrollment and that of the largest schools in the tournament. During that four year period Wahoo averaged 300 students less than the top school. In 1995 as a Class C1 entry, Wahoo was the fourth highest in enrollment and was only 67 students less than the highest ranked school, Fairbury.
Concerning Wahoo's regular season schedule, little changed with the reclassification. During the state championships run in Class B, Wahoo had often been criticized for its mainly Class C1 schedule. But with Wahoo claiming six Class B state titles, there was little doubt that the Warriors could compete in that class. What had ruffled feathers was the years in which Wahoo was included by the Omaha World Herald all class top ten. It was often pointed out that Wahoo played limited Class B competition and no Class A teams. Many of Wahoo's regular season opponents that had been Class B, also moved to Class C1. Among Wahoo's Capitol Conference opponents, Syracuse, Ashland, and Raymond Central also dropped to Class C1, bringing all the schools in the conference into the same state classification. The only Class B schools that remained on Wahoo's regular season schedule were Schuyler and Omaha Roncalli (not scheduled, but part of the Lincoln Prep Classic Holiday Tournament).
The effect of reclassification is illustrated by the preseason rankings. Typically, those rankings are a reflection on the previous season's success as much as potential for the upcoming season and therefore are usually made up of teams ranked at the end of the previous year. The Lincoln Journal Star '94-'95 preseason Class B rankings only had three teams from 1994 in the top ten that were holdovers (Norris, McCook, and Omaha Roncalli). Ralston, Beatrice, and the top ranked team, Hastings, were schools that had dropped down from Class A. The Class C1 rankings were even more dramatic in change as only Hartington Cedar Catholic and St. Paul were repeats from 1994 and three schools (Wahoo, GICC, and Hastings Adams Central) had dropped down from Class B.
One significant result of the new classification was that it put Wahoo in the same class, and same district, as cross-town rival Wahoo Neumann. It also made Wahoo the number one team in its class in the preseason ranking (and for the rest of the regular season). Regardless of Wahoo's tradition, with Wahoo's young and inexperienced roster, getting that high of a ranking in Class B would have been doubtful. But in Class C1, Ryly Jane Hambleton (LJS) put it this way: "Wahoo has a new coach and only one starter back from its Class B state title team, but the Warriors are king of the hill until knocked off." The bottom line was that the regular season didn't change much for the Warriors of 1995. The district competition and maybe even the state tournament field might not be as strong as the Class B competition Wahoo had been facing, but for the most part, the competition in '94-'95 would be "still the same."
*These years are used because the numbers were reported in the NSAA tournament program.
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