Every two years, the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) shakes things up with new classifications for schools, basing it off of attendance numbers.

How it works is that schools that meet a certain size are grouped into classes together, forming each class. The largest 32 schools form the Class 6 football teams, while the smallest 64 schools make up Class 1. From that point, schools are grouped into districts within each classification based on geographical location.

This fall will bring some new changes for the lake area schools.

Starting with the classic 11-man football, the big news here is that Class 2 powerhouse Blair Oaks will now be rolling with the big(ger) dogs.

Blair Oaks is no longer a Class 2 team. They now move into Class 3, and into the same district as two lake area teams.

Class 3, District 6 now consists of eight teams, with Blair Oaks joining Eldon and Versailles, along with Boonville, California, Fulton, Owensville and Southern Boone.

The question now becomes as to how Blair Oaks will handle being moved up a class size, though they have competed against the majority of these teams in their district for awhile, being part of the Tri-County Conference.

Formerly in the same district as Eldon and Versailles, Osage now is moved into the Class 3 District 3 division, joining Ava, Buffalo, Mountain Grove, Salem, Springfield Catholic, St. James and Warsaw.

For Osage, it's still tough matchups, facing the likes of Salem and Ava, both talented teams, but more than anything, it will most likely mean more distance to travel for the Indians' away games and district playoffs.

In Class 5, Camdenton remains in the same district (Class 5, District 4) with the same teams, except instead of Sedalia's Smith-Cotton, Columbia's Battle now takes that sixth slot, with Smith-Cotton moving to District 6.

In basketball, some things will be shaken up.

Climax Springs and Macks Creek will both still be in the same district together, now with Halfway, Hermitage, Humansville, Lakeland, Weaubleau and Wheatland. The changes here is that St. Elizabeth and Tuscumbia have now been moved from District 6 to District 9 with Bunceton, Chamois, Jamestown, Pilot Grove, Prairie Home and the Missouri School for the Deaf, and have been replaced by Halfway and Lakeland.

But after a run to the Final Four in Class 1, one has to think that this is still Macks Creek's district to lose.

In Class 3, Versailles moves from District 8 to District 13, where they will now be matched with Boonville, Cole Camp, Holden, Knob Noster, Sherwood, St. Paul Lutheran and Warsaw.

For the Tigers, it means that the talent they have will most likely be able to finally reach that district title game, as they now will play in a district that doesn't house the Eugene Eagles, who have proved to be the bane of the Tigers this past season.

For School of the Osage, it's time to move on up to Class 4. Formerly in Class 3, the Indians no longer have to face the likes of Fatima in their districts, and now move to Class 4 District 10, where they will join the Eldon Mustangs with Helias, Marshfield, Rolla and Salem.

For the Camdenton Lakers, they have finally escaped the clutches of Columbia's high schools, as they now join District 10, comprised of the Lakers, Jefferson City, Lebanon and Waynesville. While Rock Bridge and Hickman are no longer on the table for the Lakers,  the rivalry matchups here with Lebanon and Waynesville, along with Jefferson City's talent will make this an exciting district to watch.

Whichever way you look at it, 2014-2015 will be a fresh look.

A note from MSHSAA: The first-allowable football practice date for 2014 will be on Monday, August 4.  The first-possible contest date will be Friday, August 22.  (This should allow for the playing of district games on Friday, as opposed to the previous format that seemed to always fall on Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday.)
For basketball, the first allowable practice is Monday, November 3.  The first allowable basketball game is currently scheduled for Monday, November 24.  There is a ballot item being voted on which may move the first contest to the Friday of week 17 on the standardized calendar, if passed.