GHSA to set regions on Tuesday; Marist, Carver-Columbus among 27 playing up

The Georgia High School Association will place its nearly 450 member schools in regions for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, football state powers Marist and Carver of Columbus chose on Monday to play in higher classifications next season. They were among 27 schools opting to play higher than their enrollments placed them.

Marist, which has AA enrollment numbers, has chosen to play in a higher class for years and will return to AAAA again next season.

But Carver’s move was a surprise to many. Carver has averaged 12 victories a season in football since 2006 playing in AAA and AA. Enrollment increases put Carver at AAAA for next season, but the school chose to make a two-class jump to AAAAA to allow more of Muscogee County’s schools to play together.

Also choosing to play up is Columbus, Shaw and Northside of Columbus. Another Muscogee school, Hardaway, was placed in AAAAA as the seventh-smallest school in that class. Rather than strand the school system’s largest school, the Columbus schools chose to play up in hopes of forming a Muscogee-dominated region. Nearby LaGrange also will compete in AAAAA, one higher than slated by enrollment.

Southwest DeKalb also chose to play in AAAAA after its enrollment placed the school in AAAA. Southwest DeKalb will remain with rivals Stephenson and M.L. King.

Placing schools in to regions is the final major step in the reclassification process. The GHSA executive committee will meet Jan. 14 in Macon to hear final appeals and ratify reclassification.

Schools opting to play up:

AAAAA

Carver, Columbus

Chapel Hill

Columbus

Cross Creek

LaGrange

Luella

Northside, Columbus

Richmond Academy

Shaw

Southwest DeKalb

AAAA

Albany

Dougherty

Hampton (new school in Henry County)

Henry County

Marist

Worth County

AAA

Butler

Coretta Scott King

Davidson Fine Arts

Johnson, Augusta

Jordan

Josey

Laney

Savannah Arts Academy

Savannah

Spencer

Technical Career Magnet

69 comments Add your comment

TuckerD

December 2nd, 2013
6:09 pm

See MLK decided to stay down., good to see Southwest wanting to play up.

Waycross mama

December 2nd, 2013
6:24 pm

Enter your comments here

Coffee fan

December 2nd, 2013
9:02 pm

Glad to see Coffee playing in AAAAA.

fan atl

December 2nd, 2013
9:08 pm

coretta scott king with a football team that’s alright

Taco

December 2nd, 2013
9:49 pm

Up or down, no one really cares. the only reason one would opt would be to duck an opponent or play a heated rival. Marist recruits anyway so they should have to play up two every year. All private schools pull this stunt.

SWGA

December 2nd, 2013
11:05 pm

Understandable for the Muscogee County schools to want to be in the same region but Lagrange playing up will make for some long travel times for some region 1-AAAAA schools. 1-AAAAA would have to be Bainbridge, Thomas County Central, Harris County, Northside Columbus, Hardaway, Carver Columbus, Columbus, Shaw, and Lagrange. With Coffee County and Brunswick not staying in region 1-AAAAAA it will be interesting to see what becomes of region 1-AAAAAA. Lee County will be added but adding the Savannah area schools (Effingham County and Richmond Hill) will make for some very long drives for sporting events and may impact Monday-Thursday sporting activities. Being on a school bus for an 8 hours round trip to a weekday/night event is insane. Also, I see why the Albany area schools (Dougherty, Albany, Worth County) wanted to remain in region 1-AAAA since no AAA schools are close by.

Dekalb Co Guy

December 2nd, 2013
11:44 pm

I think SWD would have been better served staying in AAAA. They could have just as well renewed rivalries with Redan, Columbia and Stone Mtn.

Coretta Scott King played up but not Best Academy? Seems like it would have been more ideal for them to play up where they could be with the other city schools like Douglass, Washington, etc.

Seems like that is the pattern for the schools playing up this year. Augusta, Savannah, Columbus and Albany all cities that had teams elect to play up where they are able to limit travel and play similar schools.

Tommydawg22

December 3rd, 2013
12:02 am

Why didn’t Buford play up…They sure talk a lot of trash to play at that level

HS Fan

December 3rd, 2013
4:36 am

@ Tommy. I agree with you but Buford doesn’t want to play the powerhouses like Tucker,Stephenson and MLK. To be the best you have to compete against the best. I respect Tucker,Carver and Marist for consistently raising the bar in HS football.

Wolf Nation

December 3rd, 2013
5:32 am

Tommy,
The reason Buford isn’t playing up is the ghsa would have made us play up in every sport. Trust me, there is no one concerned with playing up in football…at any level.

Thanks for asking.

jmac83

December 3rd, 2013
6:25 am

Some predictions had come from Stephenson fans that their school would move up and thus continue the Tucker rivalry, but obviously the principal and AD felt otherwise.

Looking

December 3rd, 2013
7:21 am

See that AA will have 58 schools- less than 13% of the GHSA schools.

WarEagle

December 3rd, 2013
8:22 am

@Taco — put up or shut up — let’s see proof of your accusation. Plenty of proof that some public schools recruit — start with Milton basketball. Lots of reason to play up — looking for tough competition; for some schools, helps with travel costs; etc.

Middle Lion Backer

December 3rd, 2013
8:25 am

@Taco, “All private schools pull this stunt.” is that all you got?
Way to lump every private school in together. Surprised you left out the city schools! This I found out at the game friday night from a parent that St.Pius has 17 players on their team that have parents that went to Pius. Amazing I know. That does not inclued those players who have siblings at the school that don’t play football. So in your opinion is that recruiting?
Again if you have info please give it to GHSA at 706-647-7473 or fax 706-647-2638 otherwise just keep your keyboard on lock down. http://www.ghsa.net/

Canes moving up?

December 3rd, 2013
8:53 am

Bartow newspaper a few weeks ago had an article that Cartersville a city school ‘Canes were moving up to AAAA due to enrollment but the AD said that they may go to AAAAA because of traveling considerations.
Any info on that out there?

Dekalb Co Guy

December 3rd, 2013
9:31 am

@looking

One issue that happens is that when teams elect to move up, is that it could create imbalance in the regions. lots of teams moved up from AA to AAA and no teams moved up from A to AA, so they have a lot less teams. Also 5A is gonna be huge with like 85 teams because so many teams moved up. Maybe in the future, the GHSA will take into consideration to put a smaller # of teams in 5A and 4A and more teams in 2A with the assumption that they will move up.

Pelham Hornet 1996

December 3rd, 2013
9:41 am

Why didn’t Cook choose to play up? It is in the middle of the pack of the AAA schools, within considerable traveling distance of 1-4A, and larger than Albany which chose to play up. It has forty students less than Dougherty which also chose to play up. It beat Americus Sumter and Worth County which is playing up too handedly. For real Cook, that is cowardly. You’re the only AAA school in the southwest / south central Georgia area.

Bo Nalls

December 3rd, 2013
10:16 am

And I see Buford has decided to continue being class five puddings. Guarantee you they already talked to GHSA about playing the northern region in AAAA so they can beat up on county schools like Madison Co, Stephens Co, North Hall, and White Co. Seriously, how fun is it to be in a situation where you’re favored by 30+ points every game all the way to the finals? Just seems like it would be more fulfilling to play up and actually have to scheme to win games instead of just showing up.

NoDistrictLinesInDekalb

December 3rd, 2013
10:51 am

Always have been in favor of letting a team play up in football if they want to. Doesn’t hurt anything. If you look at GHSA you have 2 swimming class champions thats all. AAAAAA and A-AAAAA ………………..So why not let them move around in football ?
If your school is trying for the directors cup, with lets face it not many are, if you play up in football make the playoffs we could award points just like they do for AP classes.
Sorry for being logical and fair with high school football in this state. It is not fun being on either end of a beat down. The running clock is an insult because the game should not have been played at all. Coaches, players and fans don’t like the lopsided game. Players tend to pad their stats in the one half that they do play in. Are we not concerned with player safety?

TUC2003

December 3rd, 2013
11:55 am

I see Stephenson and MLK didn’t want any part of 6A!

Titletown USA

December 3rd, 2013
12:23 pm

Wolf Nation…really don’t understand your response, because Marist and the other schools that are playing up will have to subject their non-football sports to playing up as well, so it still boils down to if they can do it, why can’t Buford? Especially since it appears that Buford’s non-football sports tend to do very well in statewide competition. Spin it the way you feel, but this contributes to the dialogue as to why many people do not respect and acknowledge the Buford bragging rights. In the end, it really hurts the Buford fan base, because they are being robbed of competitive, exciting games throughout the year. I am willing to bet that the Camden faithful have enjoyed themselves over the past 2 years more than they have over the previous 10 after joining Region 1 and actually playing close games outside the Corky Kell and playoffs.

My2Cents

December 3rd, 2013
12:48 pm

@ Titletown USA…..I couldn’t agree more.

BCR

December 3rd, 2013
12:52 pm

Dodge County needs to drop to A with the private schools.

NoDistrictLinesInDekalb

December 3rd, 2013
12:55 pm

@Titletown not to belabor the point but don’t know of any girls high school basketball team that had four (4) 6 ft and above girls in the state but Buford. That was the story from the AJC last year
Might as well add Dekalb schools that take kids outside their attendence zones should play up. If Lakeside and Tucker can play AAAAAA then so should the mighty Jags and Lions.

5AReg6Fan

December 3rd, 2013
1:01 pm

@Titletown USA – Agree with your comments. Marist has pretty much always played up 2 levels and has success – lot of respect toward the WarEagles. As a Tucker fan and supporter, I look forward toward a possible matchup with one of GA’s historic championship programs in the next couple of seasons. Tucker Nation will see you on the 6A blogs – the Tigers have unfinished business in 2013 5A.

“WE ARE TUCKER” – Another Final 4 Appearance!!!

Bark

December 3rd, 2013
1:02 pm

I stopped going to Buford games years ago because of this. There’s never a competitive game. Just wasting money to wacth them blow people out week after week. That’s not fun. If they ever do decide to play up and give fans something entertaining to watch I’d go back.

Crash001

December 3rd, 2013
1:05 pm

Titletown USA – did you not see the results of the Buford and Gainsville game this year. Gainsville won the champioship in 5-A last year,and are still playing in 2013. I am NOT a Buford fan nor a supporter, but I give credit when it is due. TUC2003 – Stephenson and MLK represented Dekalb in the highest classification for years, let Tucker do some work maybe they will be successful.

Pangloss

December 3rd, 2013
1:08 pm

Buford not moving up just because they have to move in every sport is the biggest line yet.
Put your money where your mouth is and move up; if Marist can do it, you can, too.

Son Of Waco

December 3rd, 2013
1:11 pm

WACO next year region should look like this… Hephzibah, Westside Augusta, Glenn Hills, Butler, Josey, Laney… We are used to being in weak regions, so it want hurt us in the playoffs…

5AReg6Fan

December 3rd, 2013
1:15 pm

@NoDistrictLinesInDekalb – Point well taken on DeKalb. I would bet when Tucker and Lakeside enrollment numbers where submitted, Stephenson and MLK sigh a sign of relief. We can stay down and don’t have to compete with DeKalb’s # 1 football program. Interesting indeed!

“WE ARE TUCKER” – Another Final 4 Appearance!!!

Decatur 4 Life

December 3rd, 2013
1:17 pm

WarEagle and Middle Lion Backer

Don’t be naive and think private schools don’t recruit, just like you say city schools do it and have plenty of rules to break to make it happen. No way private schools don’t recruit when they have less hoops to jump through to make it happen.

Random Dekalb Guy

December 3rd, 2013
1:59 pm

This is wrong. MLK has less students than stephenson and tucker. SWD is not going up they are going down to 4A as well as arabia mountain. tucker has over 2100 students so they are going to 6A .. MLK has around 1200 students and stephenson is around 1500. #FACTS

footballmaniac

December 3rd, 2013
2:06 pm

Buford is an absolute joke. The city continually redrawing their line in order to keep the numbers down so the football program can stay in AA for all those years. You guys are a joke! I’ve talked with parents of players on the varsity football team who are friends of mine and they even agree that Friday nights are a waste of time. Sure, you’re gonna get another state championship this year but is it really satisfying? You guys remind me of the crazy youth football coaches who always stack their team beat the soup of out everyone, and then feel good that no one scored on their team all year long. Buford – grow a pair and move up to the big boy leagues. Is it really fun to watch your first string get taken out of the game in the early 2nd quarter because the game is absolutely no contest? Grow a pair..

WarEagle

December 3rd, 2013
2:41 pm

@Decatur 4 Life: “less hoops” — you must be joking. Private schools can be expensive and schools can only give need scholarships, not athletic scholarships (or else kids could not play in college); most private schools have tough academic standards that cannot and will not be relaxed; and most private schools have small class sizes and don’t take many new kids at high school age. Compare that to public schools, who charge $0 to attend (beyond our tax dollars); who cannot turn away kids because their grades are poor; and who are not limited by class sizes at all. Do some private schools recruit? I am sure it happens. A lot? I am sure not – just not enough kids who can meet the requirements and not enough spaces. Do you a lot of kids move from public school to public school for mostly athletic reasons, sometimes making up silly “hardship” claims? You bet!

Taco

December 3rd, 2013
2:52 pm

Please note I did not say public schools don’t recruit as well, but ALL private schools do. It is their right and they should take advantage of it. I just feel they should all have to play up. Sorry the truth is not always great.

ron

December 3rd, 2013
3:09 pm

These little boys out of the Augusta schools should stay where they are, they can’t compete with Waco’s & Thompson’s. I’m speaking of Josey, Laney Butler and Johnson of Augusta.

Crash001

December 3rd, 2013
3:20 pm

Random Dekalb Guy — where did you get those numbers from they are bogus, both schools enrollment is over 1500 close to 1600. Did you not read? SW Dekalb opt to move up to 5 – A. 5AReg6Fan – you write as Tucker has dominated the series with MLK and Stepheson, series is tied 1 – 1 with both. Stephenson dominated the game this year, special team saved Tucker in that game, GET REAL.

BTHomerDad

December 3rd, 2013
3:30 pm

@Pangloss – WAY TO CALL OUT BUFORD and WolfNation for who they really are. That is EXACTLY why Buford does NOT want to move up. Because they know at heart they are a small AAAA school that could never compete at a satisfactory level in their non-football sports. Buford has never won the Director’s Cup in AA or AAA and barely cracked the Top 10 in their good years. With the Gwinnett County wide recruiting options they have to sustain a football program that can easily compete and win consistently at 5A and 6A, that is not their issue. The other sports are truly “Buford City Limits only kids (for the most part) and they can’t even be competitive at their true AA, AAA, and now AAAA classification. It’s a quandary for Georgia’s most “complicated” high school athletic program.

Dekalb Co Guy

December 3rd, 2013
3:30 pm

Wow, major changes with the GHSA realignment. Camden Co. in 5A in all sports but football

5AReg6Fan

December 3rd, 2013
3:34 pm

@Random DeKalb Guy – Some of your comments are correct and some not. 1) Correct, SWD and Arabia Mtn reclassification numbers do put them in the 4A class, but SWD choose to portion the GHSA to play up in class 5A for 2014 & 2015 seasons possibly to maintain rivalry with Stephenson and MLK. 2) Your student enrollment numbers for MLK and Stephenson are just about on point, which slots them for 5A and both chose not to patron to play up in 6A. 3) Tucker’s student enrollment numbers are not 2100, but around 1832, just barely making them eligible for the 6A classification. Tucker will be one of the smallest enrollment schools in 6A, and with Lakeside will be the only two DeKalb teams, playing in the highest classification, starting fall sports of 2014. FYI, the AJC did an article, a couple weeks back that listed ALL schools reported enrollment numbers for reclassification, you can check the numbers there.

“WE ARE TUCKER” – Another Final 4 Appearance!!!

Reeze

December 3rd, 2013
3:37 pm

Which region will Tucker be in when they move up to 6A and who else will likely be in the region with them ,being the only Dekalb school in 6A

5AReg6Fan

December 3rd, 2013
3:46 pm

@Crash001 – You are right about the series between Tucker, Stephenson and MLK. I will not debate you on what happen in October 2013 between Tucker and Stephenson, because it is in the past, but one fact is clear, TUCKER is the ONLY team standing in 2013 – NOW THAT IS REAL!

“WE ARE TUCKER” – Another Final 4 Appearance!!!

HS Mom

December 3rd, 2013
3:51 pm

Wow! Arabia Mountain decided to move down with Lithonia, Redan, Stone Mountain, Columbia.

I guess no more sub region no more since Washington, Banneker, South Atlanta & Therrell is moving down and Carver is moving up

So I guess it will be Redan, Stone Mountain, Lithonia, Columbia, Grady, and Marist.

the truth

December 3rd, 2013
4:00 pm

I love the “they recruit” comments. Any athlete in the state of GA can go play at any school in the state of GA if they meet the requirements or are not caught bending the rules. This is not college, no students signs a paper which requires them to stay in one school or face restrictions on the transfer to another school. Milton got caught because the bent the rules a little to far.
If I had a son that showed skills in a particular sport I would want him to attend a school that I felt would showcase his talent. Take Norcross or Miller Grove in basketball as an example. These two schools have become known nationally to college coaches and they play teams from around the country. This not only helps the star players, but it helps role players get scholarships who would have the talent to play at mid major programs. That means approximately $30,000+ a year I would not have to pay for my son to go to college. It is no different from a parent sending a child with exceptional skills in math or science to a high school that showcase his or her talent and getting academic scholarships.
To some high schools represent the community, to others it is starting to represent an opportunity to gain skills for the future.

5AReg6Fan

December 3rd, 2013
4:00 pm

@Reeze – I’ve got my fingers crossed that the GHSA will slot Tucker and Lakeside in the region with Lovejoy, and the Southside 6A ATL teams. I believe DeKalb is better suited with these teams and the makeup of overall sports programs and facilities. When Stephenson and MLK played in the highest class, they where region with south ATL, versus Gwinnett and I think the GHSA will do the same with Tucker and Lakeside. Going to miss our Eagles and Tigers rivalry, but hopefully we will have an opportunity to tie the series. (LOL) Give’em Hell next year in 5A!

“WE ARE TUCKER” – Another Final 4 Appearance!!!

Knightshield

December 3rd, 2013
4:05 pm

SWGA, I am from the Savannah area and in Region 3AAAAA at Windsor Forest. We will move down in classification next year. As for Richmond Hill and Effingham, I believe that you will see Richmond Hill and Effingham, both who are now AAAAAA, be allowed to play down in AAAAA by authority of the committee because of the Isolation Rule. The nearest AAAAAA region school to them is Camden which is at least 100 miles away. So you may see a block buster of a region created in Region 3AAAAA next season with Brunswick, Bradwell, Effingham County, Glynn, South Effingham, Statesboro, Richmond Hill, and Ware County. Probably would be the toughest AAAAA region in the state as opposed to previously being one of the weaker regions..

Crash001

December 3rd, 2013
4:05 pm

5AReg6Fan – here are the enrollment numbers (Tucker 1832, MLK 1571, Stephenson 1560). http://blogs.ajc.com/georgia-high-school-sports/2013/11/18/ghsa-puts-teams-in-classes-for-2014/

5AReg6Fan

December 3rd, 2013
4:13 pm

@HS Mom – Schools cannot DECIDE to play down, unless they can show a financial hardship. It’s based on their student enrollment, every 2 years and Arabia Mtn, student enrollment is that of a 4A class school. A school can decide to play up in classification and this is what the article is about – “those schools that will play up above their normal student enrollment classification”. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Arabia in the region with your mention teams (Redan, Stone Mountain, Lithonia, Columbia, Grady, and Marist) – it makes logical sense, but what do I know. (LOL)

“WE ARE TUCKER” – Another Final 4 Appearance!!!

Crash001

December 3rd, 2013
4:15 pm

5AReg6Fan – there was only 1 Atl school ever in the same region as Stephenson to my knowledge and that was Westlake. Remember that region consisted of (Newnan, East Cowetta, Newton, Stephenson, MLK, Westlake, Luella SW Dekalb and Union Grove)

Reeze

December 3rd, 2013
4:15 pm

@5AReg6Fan…….Yes , not only will the Eagles miss the Tigers in 5A , the entire class will . I am hoping you guys can pull off what the Eagles almost achieved but fell short of doing , winning State Titles in Georgia’s two highest classifications