Updated: GHSA reclass to send Buford, Tucker to higher classes

Buford and Tucker, schools with football teams that are ranked No. 1, will be playing in higher classifications next season.

So will 49 other schools including Calhoun, Cartersvile, Carver-Columbus, St. Pius, Westminster and Woodward Academy.

The Georgia High School Association on Monday placed schools in six classifications for the 2014-15 academic year based on enrollment.

Here are some highlights:

- Buford, which won its 17th state title in 10 years this month (softball), is slated to move to AAAA in 2014. Buford’s football team has won eight state titles since 2001, when the school was in the lowest classification. Buford is favored to win a ninth football championship this year.

- Tucker, which has won state titles in football in 2008 and 2011, will be playing in the highest classification next year for the first time since 1985. The only other DeKalb County school in the highest class with be Lakeside. Stephenson and M.L. King remained in AAAAA.

- Other football powers heading up in class include Jefferson (2012 AA champion) and Calhoun (2011 AA champion). Joining Buford in AAAA will be Carver-Columbus and Cartersville.

- St. Pius, Woodward Academy and Westminster, Atlanta private schools that dominate the all-sports standings, are moving up one class. St. Pius has won three of the past four all-sports Directors Cup awards in Class AAA, while Woodward won the other. Westminster has won four straight in AA. St. Pius will play in AAAA with Woodward and perhaps be rejoined by Marist, a current AAAA member. Westminster will be separated from its Buckhead arch-rival Lovett, which will remain in AA.

- Thirty-four schools will move down in classification unless they choose to remain higher. Those schools include South Atlanta, Therrell, Washington and B.E.S.T. Academy in Atlanta, Morrow, Mount Zion and North Clayton in Clayton County and Southwest DeKalb, Druid Hills and Arabia Mountain in DeKalb County.

Schools have until Dec. 2 to request to play in a higher classification. Marist, for example, typically requests to play in a higher class than Class AA, where its enrollment falls. The GHSA’s reclassification committee will split each classification into eight geographic regions on Dec. 3. Reclassification is scheduled for ratification on Jan. 14.

Here are some GHSA deadlines for the rest of reclass:

Dec. 2 at noon — Deadline for schools to submit their intent to play at a higher classification.

Dec. 3 at 9 am — Meeting of the Reclassification Committee in Thomaston to place schools in regions.

Dec. 13 at noon — Deadline for schools to submit their intent to appeal for a lateral transfer to another region.

Dec. 17 at 9 a.m. — Reclassification Committee will meet in Thomaston to hear appeals for lateral transfers

Jan. 14 at 9 a.m. — The full Executive Committee will meet in Macon to hear final appeals for lateral transfers and to ratify the reclassification plan.

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Morrow 1737
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Mundy’s Mill 1718
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Northside, Columbus 1324
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207 comments Add your comment


November 18th, 2013
1:02 pm

Tucker moving into AAAAAA next year…unfortunately they will be one of the smallest schools in the highest classification.


November 18th, 2013
1:16 pm

Coffee and Brunswick dropping from Region 1
Lee County and Effingham County probably added to Region 1

What about Evans? (Augusta) Long way from any other 6A schools

Morrow and Druid Hills dropping from Region 2
Tri-Cities dropping from Region 3


November 18th, 2013
1:22 pm

Looking forward to the new “Meat” in AAAA..

Yo Cool –

Gotta play ya where they lay ya…

Silver Creek Dawg

November 18th, 2013
1:29 pm

Interesting look at the Savannah schools. WF in AAAA, everybody else is AAA or smaller. Guess they’ll be playing up.

No way Effingham and Richmond Hill join 1-AAAAAA. Travel is WAY too far. Camden is an hour away for RH; everybody is 3 hrs or so. They will join with Evans (about 2 hrs) to form a region is my bet.


November 18th, 2013
1:32 pm

Rob Fm Nor, don’t forget about Richmond Hill. Listed in 6A now, pretty good this year, in the playoffs, and not that far from Camden County and Effingham Co.


November 18th, 2013
1:39 pm

Can’t even imagine a school with 29 kids (Woody Gap in A) fielding a football team. Even if every player went both ways that would be half the school almost !
SCD, didn’t see your post before mine posted. Guess I was typing. Somewhat related.


November 18th, 2013
1:42 pm

@WolfDawg: “Gotta play where they lay ya” . . . Or, choose to play up because your school likes the competition


November 18th, 2013
1:43 pm

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Effingham County and Richmond Hill declare travel hardship and wind up in region 3-5A with Coffee, Brunswick, South Effingham, Glynn Academy and the rest of the AAAAA Savannah schools.


November 18th, 2013
1:45 pm

@WolfDawg I found it interesting that there was alomost no talk last week about school size until teams started losing!? I hope everbody gets assigned where they’re “comfortable”.


November 18th, 2013
1:45 pm

I’m sure Evans will file a grievance and stay in 5A. Glenn Hills would probably do the same and drop to AA.


November 18th, 2013
1:46 pm

Sorry to see Coffee and Brunswick leave R1, 6A. We were just starting to reignite our old rivalry! Hopefully, they’ll stay on the schedule……. :-)


November 18th, 2013
1:50 pm

They should move Lovejoy to Region 1 and then combine the remnants of Reg 2 and 3.


November 18th, 2013
1:56 pm

@ Cool_Coach1…

EAST did that in 08 & 09 when they moved up as one of the smallest (if not the smallest) school in the highest classification. Worked out OK in 08 going 9 / 3 and 2nd round of the playoffs losing to GRAYSON 17 / 7 but not so good in 09 going 6 / 4 and missing the playoffs! NORTH opened the following year and took several hundred students from EAST so it’s never been an issue since…EAST falls in the middle now of it’s classification. GOOD LUCK!



Go Raiders ( Mays)

November 18th, 2013
2:06 pm

Carver Atlanta welcome to 5A !!!!!!

Johnny Too Good

November 18th, 2013
2:15 pm

@Silver Creek, nah the Savannah schools have been following their correct placement. Johnson, Savannah, Beach, Coastal, and New Hampstead all played in 3A last year and there has been more success when in their proper classes


November 18th, 2013
2:19 pm

So how often do teams appeal and get to play down a classification? Seems to me that defeats the purpose of using enrollment to determine classification. Maybe we should just let teams pick and choose their class based on their perceived quality of athletics. Or maybe base class on playoff appearances in all sports. 0-3 move down, 3-9 same, 10+ move up one. The cream would rise to the top after about 2 cycles….


November 18th, 2013
2:22 pm

Hey Buford. Please note you have the right to petition to play up in 6A and show us up here how football is really played. We know how bad you are just dying to prove you are the BEST team in all classifications. Come get us Bully Buford.


November 18th, 2013
2:26 pm

I think we will see an attempt to sub-divide region 1-AAAAAA before we would see 9 Regions, in response to Silver Creek Dawg’s above comment. Camden, Richmond Hill, Evans, Effingham County, and Coffee (?) in one subregion and Tift, Lee, Colquitt, Lowndes and Valdosta in the other.


November 18th, 2013
2:29 pm

A team can choose to play “up” but not “down”. A team can however, appeal to the GHSA as a hardship and ask to be allowed to play “down” because of excessive travel. It has been granted in the past but on very rare occasions.


November 18th, 2013
2:32 pm

Yea yea Buford, bows your time. Play “up” and ask to be in 7-AAAAAA. Show the world what you got (or don’t have)!


November 18th, 2013
2:33 pm

“NOW’S” your time


November 18th, 2013
2:35 pm

There is NO WAY the former 2A bullies will petition to move up! They don’t have it in them!!!! :-)


November 18th, 2013
2:44 pm

Hopefully Marist petitions for 4A again, would love to renew that rivalry!


November 18th, 2013
2:47 pm

On the GHSA website listing there is a proposed Meriwether County school- its projected FTE # 815 is also the sum of Manchester 467 and Greenville’s 348…. the AJC omitted this proposed school in its listing.


November 18th, 2013
2:48 pm

Mill Creek is double the size of the bottom 8 school 0_0 I think that’s kind of crazy…
But I do know..
We will compete no matter who is lined up in front of us
We will never quit no matter the score
We stay relentless on defense and continuously hit people in the mouth
We will still have play makers in open space on offense

Run With Us or Run From Us


November 18th, 2013
2:52 pm

I wouldn’t be worried until the playoffs, Tucker will play in the same cupcake region that Stephenson and MLK ran for the last 6 Years.


November 18th, 2013
2:56 pm

Tiger4Life – We will show THEM that we can play in the highest classification, Lovejoy, Gwinnet Co. and South GA.



November 18th, 2013
2:56 pm

Better yet, would love to see BT opt up as well and we could have a region with Pius, BT, Marist, and Woodward. That would be great competition

As it Stands

November 18th, 2013
2:58 pm

Am I the only one that noticed that Lovejoy & Tucker might be playing in the same region???


November 18th, 2013
3:05 pm

Assuming Marist plays up, AAAA in Fulton/DeKalb Co will be awesome- SPX, Marist, SWD, WA, Chamblee, Coulmbia, Cross Keys – a battle ROYALE. I can hardly wait.


November 18th, 2013
3:05 pm

Tucker in Region 2? Yuck. They are closer to all the schools in Region 8 than Region 2.

I mean Parkview is next door to Tucker. Berkmar, Brookwood, Shiloh and even Central Gwinnett are closer than anyone in Region 2.


November 18th, 2013
3:05 pm

Am I the only one that believes Tucker should stay down!


November 18th, 2013
3:06 pm

According to the numbers from AJC a couple of weeks ago, it had Monroe Area with AAA numbers (1056) it’s going to be interesting to see what teams the GHSA has 8AAAA for the next 2 years.


November 18th, 2013
3:06 pm

As it Stands – No you are not the only one that noticed…Would like to play some Gwinnett and South GA Schools too


November 18th, 2013
3:07 pm

J – why should we stay down???


November 18th, 2013
3:08 pm

And Grady! Oh yeah!


November 18th, 2013
3:15 pm

gomez3000 – i agree with you we should be playing those Gwinnet Co. Schools and schedule a South GA Team and Stephenson and/or MLK to showcase the top teams in the County


November 18th, 2013
3:16 pm

@Hamilton – I doubt that Cross Keys would play anyone from that region in football. They need to stick with who they schedule now. Now in soccer, maybe.


November 18th, 2013
3:18 pm

They should consider moving Habersham to 6-AAAAAA with the Forsyth schools

trojan power

November 18th, 2013
3:18 pm

Its official. AAAA will be the strongest classification in the state. You already have Perennial powers like Sandy Creek, Carrollton, Marist, Griffin. Now u add Buford, Carver Columbus, St Pius, Cartersville. Wow!! Its gone be like the SEC. Bufords reign Stops Now!! Welcome all newcomers! Better get your game up!!

Football Guru

November 18th, 2013
3:19 pm

VERY INTERESTING! Tucker moving up to 6A: Could possibly be placed in Region 7 with Norcross, North Gwinnett, Peachtree Ridge, and Mill Creek OR be in Region 8 with Archer, Grayson, Parkview, and Brookwood. Also, the move up for Buford will make them play the likes of Carrollton, Burke County, and SANDY CREEK in the playoffs!!! Another interesting move is Lee County going up to 6A….it adds another South Georgia team to High Mileage Region 1

Football Guru

November 18th, 2013
3:21 pm

@RobfromNorcross Habersham should be moved to Region 6

trojan power

November 18th, 2013
3:21 pm

Really? So your gonna have Carver-Columbus, Sandy Creek and Carrollton. In the same region. CRAZY!!!!


November 18th, 2013
3:22 pm

wowsers… cant wait to see Sandy Creek vs Buford. I feel for Tucker, its gonna be a different ball game for them. But I think they can hang though.



November 18th, 2013
3:31 pm

itsonlywrite – were going to be just fine, we will leave down in 5A fighting for leftovers.


November 18th, 2013
3:35 pm

@TuckerD – If by some miracle Tucker ended up in Region 8 the Gwinnett schools would not want to travel to Adams Stadium. Tucker would probably play at Halford for home games.

It’s a moot point though as I bet they put Lakeside and Tucker in Region 2 since Druid Hills is leaving that region. That is not what I would choose, but I’m just a lowly taxpayer who pays for the buses and gas. Oh, and South Gwinnett High is closer to Tucker too.

Todd Holcomb

November 18th, 2013
3:36 pm

”A team can choose to play “up” but not “down”. A team can however, appeal to the GHSA as a hardship and ask to be allowed to play “down” because of excessive travel. It has been granted in the past but on very rare occasions.”

That’s basically true, although technically, a school cannot ask for a hardship to play down. The reclass committee must make that decision on its own while coming up with regions. If the committee sees an isolated school during that process and sees a natural fit in the lower class, the committee can make that call.

R31768 Pack

November 18th, 2013
3:44 pm

Wow, I feel for Lee County (1802) vs. Mill Creek (3708). As a Colquitt fan, I hope we always play in the highest classification regardless of the number but it appears that the gap is very wide in 6A. GHSA has got a problem building. I have never played the numbers card but this may be too much. Lee County had an above average football team this year but I don’t see them having a chance in 6A.

A Fan

November 18th, 2013
3:44 pm

Hate to see N.P. moving up but at least E.P. will still have Allatoona to can. :-) Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Todd Holcomb

November 18th, 2013
3:45 pm

Thanks, Watching. It looks like the GHSA has made some other minor adjustments since we downloaded their morning numbers. Here is what the GHSA has -