The Georgia High School Association finally has a reclassification plan in place on how to divide the 443 member schools for athletic competition.
By a narrow 26-24 vote on Tuesday, the GHSA’s Executive Committee voted in favor of expanding from the existing structure of five classifications to six. It will take effect in fall 2012.
Which region and classification will your high school be playing in? That really won’t be known until FTE reports on student enrollment come out in October, according to GHSA executive director Ralph Swearngin.
The “4/8 plan” was the first plan proposed on Tuesday, and failed after a 15-35 vote.
Back to the 6 classification plan, which will break down the high schools by percentages:
Class AAAAAA (15% of all schools)
Class AAAAA (15%)
Class AAAA (16%)
Class AAA (16%)
Class AA (16%)
Class A (22% because of so many non-football playing schools)
Reaction from around the metro area:
Pope AD Steven Craft: I think it was a great decision by the executive committee. The 4/8 plan had more questions than answers. I love the decision to move to 6 classifications. I think that this is the fairest proposal. The 6 classification plan levels out the number of schools in each classification without watering down the significance of winning a state championship.
Centennial football coach Jeff Measor: I guess it fixes some things, but for us, nothing has changed. The system will still have 3,500-student schools playing 2,000-student schools in the playoffs.
Alpharetta AD Kirk Alexander: I am happy to hear that the vote passed to expand to 6 qualifications. It is the solution that best fits the GHSA’s current system and philosophies. As the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” … I like that it’s the same format as the old 5-class system, so adapting to it will not be a problem. I also like that it maintains the competitive balance. I do not like that some regions only have 5 teams, where 4 will make the playoffs in the major sports … I was in favor of the vote today. I think you see from the numbers, the constituents from the metro area stood together in support of what they felt was in the best interest of Georgia high school athletics.
Creekside AD Mekia Troy: The plan seems to provide pretty good balance across all classifications. If the projected numbers are close, I like where Creekside is as far a travel and the likelihood of developing rivals. I believe the same is true for much of metro Atlanta … I’m in favor of the 6 classifications. I assumed that a change was coming regardless of if it was necessary because it was discussed so much. I was initially totally against the 4×8, but the final proposal wasn’t that bad. The idea of 8 championships was a bit much, though.
Peachtree Ridge AD Bill Holleman: There will never be a perfect answer to this question but the 6 classification plan is a much more equitable approach to all members of the the GHSA
Harrison AD Jerry Meuschke: I think it made a lot more sense than the 4/8 if we want to keep it simple and still get more teams involved in the state experience.
Berkmar football coach Jonathan Sanks: The reclassification does not bother me at all. Our tough region did not change. Bottom line, this game comes down to who can block, tackle, and secure the ball the best. If teams cannot do those things, it is impossible to be successful … no matter who you are playing, or the class you are in.