GHSA places schools in region; Tucker, Lovejoy to share 2-AAAAAA

Tucker will say goodbye to old region rivals M.L. King, Stephenson and Southwest DeKalb next year and say hello to Lovejoy, its state-championship football opponent in 2011, in the new Region 2-AAAAAA.

The Georgia High School Association put its 451 member schools into regions on Tuesday for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.

Tucker will be playing in the highest classification for the first time in nearly 30 years and join what for the past two seasons has been considered a soft football region. But 2-AAAAAA now will feature two-time region champion Lovejoy along with Tucker, the team that beat Lovejoy for the Class AAAA state title in 2011.

Meanwhile, Tucker’s old Region 6-AAAAA will be crowded next year.

The decision of 11 Georgia schools to play up in AAAAA next year caused a logjam that resulted in the GHSA putting 17 teams in Region 6. One subregion is DeKalb County-dominated with schools such as M.L. King, Miller Grove, Southwest DeKalb and Stephenson. The other will be made up of schools from Clayton and Henry counties.

Reclassification will interrupt some rivalries and bring back others. Marist and St. Pius, Catholic schools rivals that have not met in football since 2009, will be in Region 6-AAAA with St. Pius moving up in class. But Westminster, the state’s most successful sports program the past decade, will move up into Region 5-AAA, leaving behind Buckhead neighbor Lovett of 6-AA.

For the first time, the GHSA allowed schools to play football in one classification and other sports in another. This affected only three schools in South Georgia, where travel concerns are paramount.

Camden County will return to 1-AAAAAA for football but be allowed to play lower, in Region 2 of AAAAA, in other sports with coastal neighbors Brunswick and Glynn Academy. Thomas County Central and Bainbridge also were allowed to play football in one region (1-AAAAA) and other sports in another (1-AAAA).

The GHSA also saved Evans, Effingham County and Richmond Hill from playing in the highest classification, where their enrollment fell, because of isolation and travel concerns. Effingham and Richmond Hill will play in 3-AAAAA. Evans will play in 2-AAAAA. Cook, a middle-sized AAA school, was moved up to 1-AAAA to compete against closer schools for similar isolation concerns.

Schools may appeal to make lateral transfers from one region to another in the same class by Dec. 13. The GHSA will ratify reclassification on Jan. 13.

CLASS AAAAAA
REGION 1 REGION 2
Camden County  (FB only) Alcovy
Colquitt County Lakeside, Dekalb
Lee County Lovejoy
Lowndes Newton
Tift County Rockdale County
Valdosta Tucker
REGION 3 REGION 4
Campbell Harrison
Douglas County Hillgrove
East Coweta Kennesaw Mountain
Langston Hughes Marietta
Newnan McEachern
Pebblebrook North Cobb
South Cobb North Paulding
Westlake Osborne
REGION 5 REGION 6
Cherokee Alpharetta
Etowah Centennial
Lassiter Chattahoochee
Milton Habersham Central
Pope Johns Creek
Roswell Lambert
Walton Northview
Wheeler North Forsyth
Woodstock South Forsyth
West Forsyth
REGION 7 REGION 8
Collins Hill Archer
Duluth Berkmar
Meadowcreek Brookwood
Mill Creek Central Gwinnett
Mountain View Dacula
Norcross Grayson
North Gwinnett Parkview
Peachtree Ridge Shiloh
South Gwinnett
CLASS AAAAA
REGION 1 REGION 2
Bainbridge (FB only) Sub-region A
Carver, Columbus Cross Creek
Columbus Evans  (Isolated)
Hardaway Greenbrier
Harris County Grovetown
LaGrange Lakeside, Evans
Northside, Columbus Richmond Academy
Thomas Co. Cen (FB only) Sub-region B
Shaw Jones County
Houston County
Northside, Warner Robins
Warner Robins
REGION 3 REGION 4
Sub-region A Sub-region A
Brunswick Alexander
Camden Co. (all but FB) Carver, Atlanta
Coffee Chapel Hill
Glynn Academy Lithia Springs
Ware County Mays
New Manchester
Sub-region B Sub-region B
Bradwell Institute Banneker
Effingham Co. (Isolated) Creekside
Richmond Hill  (Isolated) McIntosh
South Effingham Northgate
Statesboro Starr’s Mill
Tri-Cities
REGION 5 REGION 6
Sub-region A Sub-region A
Allatoona Clarkston
Cass Drew
Dalton Dunwoody
Rome Druid Hills
Woodland, Bartow Forest Park
M.L. King
Miller Grove
Southwest Dekalb
Stephenson
Sub-region B Sub-region B
East Paulding Dutchtown
Hiram Luella
Paulding County Morrow
South Paulding Mundy’s Mill
Villa Rica Ola
Stockbridge
Union Grove
Woodland, Henry
REGION 7 REGION 8
Cambridge Apalachee
Creekview Cedar Shoals
Forsyth Central Clarke Central
Kell Flowery Branch
North Atlanta Gainesville
North Springs Heritage, Conyers
Riverwood Lanier
River Ridge Loganville
Sequoyah Salem
Sprayberry Winder Barrow
CLASS AAAA
REGION 1 REGION 2
Albany Baldwin
Americus-Sumter Howard
Bainbridge  (all but FB) Mary Persons
Cairo Perry
Cook  (Isolated) Upson-Lee
Crisp County Veterans
Dougherty West Laurens
Monroe, Albany
Thomas Co. Cen (all but FB)
Westover
Worth County
REGION 3 REGION 4
Burke County Eagles Landing
Liberty County Eastside
New Hampstead Griffin
Thomson Hampton, Henry
Wayne County Henry County
Windsor Forest Jonesboro
Locust Grove
Mt. Zion, Jonesboro
Riverdale
Spalding
REGION 5 REGION 6
Carrollton Arabia Mountain
Fayette County Chamblee
Grady Columbia
Pike County Cross Keys
Sandy Creek Lithonia
Troup Marist
Whitewater Redan
Woodward Academy St. Pius X
Stone Mountain
REGION 7 REGION 8
Cartersville Buford
Gilmer Chestatee
Heritage, Catoosa Johnson, Gainesville
Lafayette Madison County
Northwest Whitfield Monroe Area
Pickens North Hall
Ridgeland North Oconee
Southeast Whitfield Stephens County
Walnut Grove
White County
CLASS AAA
REGION 1 REGION 2
Sub-region A Sub-region A
Appling County Jordan
Brantley County Kendrick
Dodge County Peach County
Pierce County Spencer
Toombs County
Tattnall County
Sub-region B Sub-region B
Beach Central, Macon
Islands Jackson
Jenkins Rutland
Johnson, Savannah Southwest, Macon
Savannah Westside, Macon
Savannah Arts
Southeast Bulloch
REGION 3 REGION 4
Sub-region A
Butler Cedar Grove
Davidson Fine Arts McNair
Glenn Hills Jackson, Atlanta
Hephzibah North Clayton
Johnson, Augusta South Atlanta
Josey Towers
Laney Sub-region B
Technical Career Magnet Blessed Trinity
Washington County Coretta Scott King
Westside, Augusta Decatur
Douglass, Atlanta
Therrell
Washington, Atlanta
Westminster
REGION 5 REGION 6
Sub-region A Calhoun
Callaway Coahulla Creek
Central, Carroll Gordon Central
Haralson County Lakeview, Ft. Oglethorpe
New Meriwether Co. (?) Murray County
Sub-region B North Murray
Adairsville Ringgold
Cedartown Sonoraville
Pepperell
Rockmart
REGION 7 REGION 8
Banks County East Jackson
Dawson County Elbert County
East Hall Hart County
Fannin County Jackson County
Franklin County Jefferson
Lumpkin County Morgan County
West Hall Oconee County
CLASS AA
REGION 1 REGION 2
Berrien Bacon County
Brooks County Benedictine
Early County Bryan County
Fitzgerald Groves
Pelham Jeff Davis
Seminole County Long County
Thomasville McIntosh Co. Academy
St. Vincents Academy
Vidalia
REGION 3 REGION 4
Dublin Bleckley County
East Laurens Crawford County
Harlem Lamar County
Jefferson County Macon County
Metter Monticello
Screven County Northeast, Macon
Swainsboro Putnam County
REGION 5 REGION 6
Bowdon BEST Academy
Bremen Greater Atlanta Christian
Chattahoochee County Hapeville Charter
Heard County Holy Innocents
Manchester  (?) KIPP Atlanta Charter
Temple Lovett
Pace Academy
Wesleyan
REGION 7 REGION 8
Armuchee Greene County
Chattooga Oglethorpe County
Coosa Rabun County
Dade County Riverside Military Academy
Darlington Social Circle
Gordon Lee Union County
Model Washington-Wilkes
CLASS A
REGION 1 REGION 2
Baconton Charter Atkinson County
Baker County Charlton County
Calhoun County Clinch County
Miller County Echols County
Mitchell County Irwin County
Pataula Charter Lanier County
Quitman County Telfair County
Randolph-Clay Turner County
Stewart County Wilcox County
Terrell County
Webster County
REGION 3 REGION 4
Sub-region A
Calvary Day Brookstone
Claxton Central, Talbotton
Jenkins County Dooly County
Portal Greenville  (?)
Savannah Christian Hawkinsville
Savannah Country Day Marion County
Woodville-Tompkins St. Anne Pacelli
Sub-region B Schley County
Emanuel County Institute Taylor County
Johnson County
Montgomery County
Treutlen County
Wheeler County
REGION 5 REGION 6
Sub-region A Sub-region A
Atlanta International Christian Heritage
Ben Franklin Excel Christian
Dekalb Arts Ga. School for the Deaf
Fulton Leadership Academy Morris Innovative
Galloway Mt. Paran Christian
Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Mt. Zion, Carroll
W.D. Mohammed North Cobb Christian
Whitefield Academy SW Atlanta Christian
Yeshiva Trion
Sub-region B Sub-region B
Drew Charter Fellowship Christian
Eagles Landing Christian Fulton Science Academy
Elite Scholars Academy King’s Ridge
Greenforest Christian Mt. Pisgah Christian
Landmark Christian Pinecrest Academy
Our Lady of Mercy St. Francis
Paideia Walker
Strong Rock Christian
REGION 7 REGION 8
Sub-region A
First Presbyterian Day Athens Academy
Ga. Academy for the Blind Athens Christian
Mt. de Sales Commerce
Stratford Academy George Walton Academy
Tattnall Square Academy Hebron Christian
Twiggs County Lakeview Academy
Wilkinson County Prince Ave. Christian
Sub-region B Providence Christian
Aquinas Rabun Gap
Georgia Military Prep Tallulah Falls
Glascock County Towns County
Hancock Central Woody Gap
Lincoln County
Taliaferro County
Warren County

110 comments Add your comment

RobFromNorcross

December 3rd, 2013
4:16 pm

With 10 teams will Region 6-AAAAAA be subdivided?

WarEagle

December 3rd, 2013
4:26 pm

The Fish Bowl returns! Should be fun.

57Cat

December 3rd, 2013
4:32 pm

Welcome to Region 1-AAAAAA, Lee County. We also welcome you to the AAAAAA blog.

Todd Holcomb

December 3rd, 2013
4:32 pm

Good point, WarEagle. Will be fun to see Marist-St. Pius again!

Rob – It isn’t shown to be subdivided, so I assume no.

fan atl

December 3rd, 2013
4:37 pm

Glad to see Washington and Douglass play again

A.J.

December 3rd, 2013
4:39 pm

Would have like to see Tucker go in Region 8AAAAAA to make all the games closer to home and create some more geographic rivals than just Lakeside, which hasn’t been much of a rivalry since 1997.

JM

December 3rd, 2013
4:43 pm

Region 6 in AAAAA is just stupid with 17 teams

5AReg6Fan

December 3rd, 2013
4:43 pm

Got my wish – Tucker goes to the metro Southside. Don’t want to start anything, but does 6A region 2 become stronger? (LOL)

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

Dekalb Co Guy

December 3rd, 2013
4:44 pm

5A Region 6 with 17 teams is a lot. Seems that they could balanced those regions a bit more between Region 4,5,6, and 7. The football actually will be less of a problem than it will be in basketball. At least half of the schools suck in football but in basektball, some good teams might miss out on the playoffs with so many teams in 1 region. Hate that Mays wont get to play Stephenson and MLK next season too. enjoyed those games the past couple of years.

5AReg6Fan

December 3rd, 2013
4:54 pm

Sportsnut – Tucker Nation is back!!! (LOL)

Gonna have to change my blog handle, again – Any suggestions?

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

Sportsnut

December 3rd, 2013
4:58 pm

5AReg6Fan == Welcome. It does make for a stronger region. Of course, you will have detractors.

footballfan

December 3rd, 2013
5:20 pm

Region 45A has at least 6 teams in the region that were in the 2013 playoffs

5AReg6Fan

December 3rd, 2013
5:26 pm

I know some Tucker fans were hoping to be placed in Gwinnett regions, due to location, but I see BIG opportunity for the Tigers to schedule about 5 non region games while playing in region 2. For years Tucker has be region isolated, without the benefit of showing the state its football program against non region opponents. If you want to schedule a game with the Tigers in 2014, contact Coach Lamar, Tucker High School. O’ he want answer, until after December 14th got some unfinished business in 5A 2013.

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

THE "CANNON RULES"!!

December 3rd, 2013
5:33 pm

EAST loses a great rivalry game with NORTH PAULDING as well as games with LITHIA SPRINGS and NEW MANCHESTER but picks up CASS and DALTON teams EAST hasn’t played in 10 years. I’m not a big fan at all of the split sub regions but with 10 teams in Region 5 I guess it had to be done.

TICK…TICK…TICK…BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!

GO RAIDERS!!!! 2014—> A NEW BEGINNING!!!

GHSA Screwed up

December 3rd, 2013
5:43 pm

GHSA really screwed Dekalb and Clayton county with that bogus region 6 AAAAA alignment. And how come no region in AAAAAA has sub-regions?

SWGA

December 3rd, 2013
5:51 pm

Thanks for the welcome back, 57Cat. Although before my time as a resident, I understand we have been region foes before. I have a daughter at VSU so I’m looking forward to making the trip(s) to Winnersville for a game(s) next fall.

It is interesting how many schools are being allowed to play down for all sports but Football. I know the moves make good economic since for the schools but I guess it shows football is king.

TuckerD

December 3rd, 2013
5:52 pm

sportsnut remember Tucker see ya next fall?

stooge

December 3rd, 2013
5:55 pm

sorry to see Coffee go but they’ll have alot success with the change..welcome aboard, Lee!

stooge

December 3rd, 2013
5:57 pm

Looking forward to Lovejoy and Tucker on the same block next season

RobFromNorcross

December 3rd, 2013
5:57 pm

@SWGA = Football is one game a week and it is on Friday night, so travel while not great, is possible. And it is 5 games a season to travel. Many of the other sports play more games, and during the week so it becomes much more of a problem to travel 2+ hours for a game.

Patrick

December 3rd, 2013
6:04 pm

The new school song for Lee County will be “WOE IS US” !

RobFromNorcross

December 3rd, 2013
6:09 pm

Region 2-AAAAAA with 6 teams now will still have 4 playoff slots. Since Lakeside is even worse than Luella and Druid Hills and about the same as Morrow, you got rid of three non-competitive teams and added one.

Tucker and Lovejoy are in the playoffs for the forseeable future with the #1 and #2 seeds decided by their game against each other. Alcovy, Newton, and Rockdale are fighting among themselves for the other two positions.

The good news for Lovejoy and Tucker is they now have 5 non-region games each to play strong opponents and get their teams ready, and to prove their strength during the regular season. Hopefully they will choose to play mainly medium and strong non-region opponents at the 6A level.

6AAAAAFan

December 3rd, 2013
6:18 pm

Region 2AAAAAA is a terrible region! But at least you can try and schedule some quality opponents to stay sharp.

SWGA

December 3rd, 2013
6:24 pm

RobFromNorcross- Most schools south of Macon are painfully aware of the travel that is involved. Currently our closest region foe is 70 miles away and one is 105 miles away. Next year the closest will be about 50 miles away and for football one will be 191 miles away and for other sports 100 miles away.

What I was implying is that I would hate to be the 5th best non-football sports team in a region that lost out on the playoffs to a school(s) that should be a classification higher.

FridayNightLightsFan

December 3rd, 2013
6:27 pm

@Cannon Rules. What I see with the sub regions is the chance to play non-region games. That and the fact that North Paulding will also need some non-region games to complete a 10 game schedule gives us a chance to still play each other.

Alphadawg

December 3rd, 2013
6:33 pm

I dont get justification for having 10 teams in Region 6 – 6A. Why is Habersham Central in our region? Where is Habersham Central? Why is it now in the region with Forsyth and Fulton schools? Does it make sense for us to drive past half the schools in Gwinnett to play these guys? We will have just as many teams left out of the playoffs as in the entire region 2. Other than Region 1, all of these schools are clustered around Atlanta so they could easily have balanced the regions out in a fairer fashion. Milton is 4 miles from us and Roswell is 6 miles away. We grew up playing those guys and we dont get to play them now since they eliminated all but one of our non-region games. Instead we get a 70 mile drive on a school night through Gwinnett county past about 5 other schools that are closer. The Habersham people have to do this every other week. Just put them in 5A with the other schools in that area like they did for the Augusta schools and give us all several days of our life back.

CA Native

December 3rd, 2013
6:35 pm

GHSA bylaw 4.23 – 4.1″There will be a mandatory subdivision of each region containing ten (10) or more schools by the Reclassification Committee (Exception: Cheerleading).”

However I believe regions with 10 members can vote to play a full region schedule or subdivide. 5A-6 is so big due to geography and to keep 8 regions. I bet some of these regions may subdivide by choice to get more non region games for football.

RobFromNorcross

December 3rd, 2013
6:37 pm

I can only imagine what it would be like to have to travel 100 miles on a regular basis for your region games. We had to drive about an hour and a half to go to Habersham and that was a long way. I guess it is what you are used to… There is no easy solution unless y’all want to move to Atlanta!

RobFromNorcross

December 3rd, 2013
6:45 pm

@Alphadawg == it is the same distance to Habersham Central from Alpharetta as it is from Norcross. But the traffic is quite a bit worse for us. You shouldn’t be going through Gwinnett to get to Habersham, you should be staying west of Lake Lanier and then cutting across. Most of the Forsyth schools are much closer than you to Habersham. North Forsyth is less than an hour.

I agree that they should probably “isolate” out Habersham to 5A. Is there a 5A region close to them?

RobFromNorcross

December 3rd, 2013
6:50 pm

And the South GA schools are not going to have any sympathy for any North GA school complaints about the rigors of a 50-60 mile, 1-1.5 hour drive for any of us Atlanta people to drive to Habersham (the North GA equivalent of Moultrie) for one game a year. I can highly recommend a place to get dinner before the game near Habersham- Fender’s Diner in Cornelia, GA about ten minutes away. Very authentic feel to the place and great burgers sandwiches and shakes…

SWGA

December 3rd, 2013
6:54 pm

RobFromNorcross- I grew up in DeKalb County and lived all but 13 of my 50 years in metro Atlanta so Been There/Done That. I will let you keep the traffic. It is probably faster sometimes for me to go the 100 miles than it is for you to get to a game at North Gwinnett from Norcross on a “bad” Friday traffic day.

RobFromNorcross

December 3rd, 2013
7:00 pm

@SWGA == You got that right, friend!

RobFromNorcross

December 3rd, 2013
7:01 pm

@SWGA == so are you a fan of Lee County?

SWGA

December 3rd, 2013
7:04 pm

Yes, that is where I live now and I have two at LCHS and two that have already graduated from there.

CA Native

December 3rd, 2013
7:11 pm

@AlphaDawg – you guys are east of GA400 and that’s probably how you got separated from Roswell and Milton as the newer schools opened near you(I’m guessing). Your Region could vote to subdivide if you want to add nonregion games for Football. Habersham was in 6A-8 last time so not sure why GHSA put the in 6A-6 this time. They could ask for a lateral transfer but they are looking at long drives no matter what.

CA Native

December 3rd, 2013
7:15 pm

@Rob, 5A-8 would be be the next best option for Habersham but the drives to Heritage Conyers, Salem, and Clarke Central for non football would be worse.

CA Native

December 3rd, 2013
7:17 pm

Habersham was in region 6A-7 last time not 8.

Realist123

December 3rd, 2013
8:17 pm

GHSA C’mon now! I’m sure a lot of thought went into this but many of your decisions are questionable. I am one who hoped for a Tucker to region 8 destination but can’t complain much since Lovejoy will provide competitive games for us. Maybe some of the closer Gwinnett schools won’t mind coming at us.

Gamer

December 3rd, 2013
8:18 pm

Region 6 has 17 teams split in Sub region a and b. Northside, Houston County, Warner Robins and Jones County are again in with the Augusta area teams. Crazy!! No less than a two and a half hour drive. Luella, Dutchtown, Morrow, Forest Park, Union Grove, Ola, Stockbridge, and Woodland-H.C. are all within one to one hour and twenty minutes to Houston County. With 17 teams, region 6 could have placed some of the cited teams with the Houston County Schools (plus Jones Cty). Now, what happens to the Augusta teams? The same thing prior to playing Houston County. The GHSA made some teams play up. Certainly the Augusta area have the teams.

NGHS 09

December 3rd, 2013
8:18 pm

@Todd…. Is it just me or does AAAAA seem to be extremely over-crowded? I get that most schools can request their placement or contest it, but it seems like 17 teams in one region is a red flag that the best decision WAS NOT made. I also understand that travel distance between schools played a big role, but why on Earth would the GHSA make the decision that’s bound to create controversy and playoff dilemmas. They took something that was simple and then completely screwed it up by making it a train wreck.

Gamer

December 3rd, 2013
8:19 pm

I meant the GHSA could have placed

Paladin Death Dealer

December 3rd, 2013
8:23 pm

Habersham must have friends on the committee. Will have a much better chance to win.

FoghornLeghorn

December 3rd, 2013
8:41 pm

This has got to be a first in the comments section on AJC. They announce that they will let schools play in different classifications for football only, AND NOT A SINGLE COMMENT ABOUT BUFORD…

57Cat

December 3rd, 2013
8:51 pm

Does anyone else on this blog have the trouble I’m having? Every time I leave the blog and go to another website, when I comeback I have to re-enter my name and E-mail. That hasn’t been the case in the past. Todd, you’re the master of blog moderators, do you have an answer?

CA Native

December 3rd, 2013
8:51 pm

@Paladin, I was thinking the same thing and it’s not like they ate driving that much farther.

WildHawg2012

December 3rd, 2013
8:52 pm

Welcome back to region 1 Lee Co. Look forward to next season

CA Native

December 3rd, 2013
9:02 pm

It would add an extra round of playoffs but maybe they should go to 10 regions in Class 5A and give byes to all the #1 seeds. It would seem to be a better alternative than 17 teams in 5A-6.

CA Native

December 3rd, 2013
9:05 pm

@Foghorn, someone mentioned it on the thread from yesterday.

Dekalb Co Guy

December 3rd, 2013
9:25 pm

A better decision for AAAAA would have been

Region 4: A) Northgate, McIntosh, Starr’s Mill, Morrow, Mundy’s Mill, Drew, Forest Park
B) Woodland, Ola, Union Grove, Dutchtown, Stockbridge, Luella

Region 5 A) Allatoona, Paulding Co, E Paulding, Hiram, S Paulding
B) Alexander, Chapel Hill, Lithia Springs, New Manchester, Villa Rica

Region 6 A) King, Dunwoody, Stephenson, Miller Grove, Clarkston, Druid Hills, SW Dekalb
B) Mays, North Atl, Carver, Creekside, Tri Cities, Banneker

Region 7 A) Woodland, Dalton, Cass, Rome, Creekview, Sequoyah, River Ridge
B) Sprayberry, Kell, Forsyth Cen, North Springs, Riverwood, Cambridge

John

December 3rd, 2013
9:59 pm

To DeKalb Co Guy: why would you put Rome in a region with Forsyth and Fulton County schools almost two hours away when the Paulding County schools are 35 minutes away?