Caldwell County was one of two teams in the Second Region to switch districts, with Providence moving from the Seventh District back to the Sixth District where it was a member from 1966-97.
"Obviously, we’re disappointed with their decision," said Caldwell County Athletic Director Pat Gates. "We wanted to try and keep our entire district intact, but the board of control didn’t see it that way."
The changes affect each of the 16 regions and 51 of the 64 districts. Nineteen schools will change regions, but none of those are in the Second Region.
Gates said Caldwell County argued against the move, not for geographical reasons but for financial ones.
"There are going to be teams like Lyon and Livingston who might lose money. They don’t have football and rely on basketball for a lot of their income. We bring a pretty good crowd, and they could take a $3,000-$4,000 hit each year," he said.
Caldwell County is the largest school in the Fifth District for enrollment, with about 50 more students than Trigg County and about 340 more than the district’s smallest school, Lyon County.
The new Seventh District will consist of Madisonville, with an enrollment of around 1,080, Hopkins Central (970), Caldwell County (620), and Dawson Springs (190).
"We now have Madisonville and Hopkins Central in our district. They’re much bigger and have a sound tradition, which puts us at a disadvantage," Gates said.
Caldwell County has been a member of the Fifth District since 1957-58 when many of the schools in Caldwell, Lyon, and Crittenden Counties consolidated.
The composition of the Fifth District has remained the same since 1972 when Fredonia High closed their doors.
"There has been a lot of tradition and rivalry developed over the years, and the emphasis on the games in the future just won’t be the same," Gates said.
The first major realignment by the KHSAA in nearly 30 years was done for the purpose of eliminating three-team and six-team districts.
"I can understand their desire to eliminate the three-team and five-team districts, but don’t see anything wrong with either one of them," said Trigg County Athletic Director Taylor Sparks. "I think this will hurt our district, and doesn’t really solve the long term problem brought on by more consolidation."
Caldwell County has won 11 boys’ district titles – tied with Lyon County for second most behind Livingston Central (14). However, they have not won a title since 1996 and two since 1988.
Caldwell’s girls have won 17 district titles – more than the other four schools combined – and have won 14 straight. They will move into a district that includes normal Second Region contenders Hopkins Central and Madisonville.
Gates said he expected Caldwell County to keep the Fifth District schools on their basketball schedules and doesn’t anticipate dropping any of the Fifth District schools.
"We already play the teams in the Seventh District, some twice a year. I don’t see any big changes. I just can’t imagine a season without Trigg/Caldwell or Caldwell/Lyon on the schedule."
The new alignment is expected to be approved for baseball and softball, which would also level the playing field in the Fifth District.
Caldwell County won eight straight district titles in softball before Lyon County won the last two.
In baseball, Caldwell has combined with Livingston Central to win ten of the last 11 district titles.