Milton is the largest of a dozen Georgia schools that will argue Tuesday before the GHSA to be moved to another region for the 2014-16 academic years, but few are likely to get their wish. The GHSA typically declines to grant those appeals once it has placed schools in regions.
Milton, which has made its name in boys basketball but in fact has become a state factor in several sports in recent years, wants out of Region 5-AAAAAA and into Region 6 with five other north Fulton County schools.
That’s not likely to happen because such a move would entail having 11 schools in Region 6 and only eight in Region 5, and one of those eight would be Roswell, Milton’s oldest rival and another north Fulton school.
Critics of reclassification in AAAAAA point to the fact that Gwinnett County schools again got two regions of their own – regions 7 and 8. Those regions are made up entirely of Gwinnett schools, which usually leads to better gates and revenue.
There are 14 Cobb County schools in the highest class spread over regions 3, 4 and 5. There are seven north Fulton schools spread over regions 5 and 6.
Also to be argued on Tuesday will be the placement of Thomas County Central, Lee County and Cook from South Georgia.
Thomas Central is slated to compete in Class AAAAA for football but AAAA for other sports. The Thomasville school has AAAAA enrollment but was placed in AAAA because of the GHSA’s isolation rule, which is designed to cut travel for schools otherwise would not have nearby region opponents.
However, a new GHSA bylaw allows the GHSA starting in 2014 to exempt a school’s football team from playing in a lower class because of isolation. Camden County, for example, also is slated to play football in one class (AAAAAA) and other sports in another (AAAAA). Thomas Central wants all of its sports teams in one class.
Lee County has been placed in Region 1-AAAAAA but will make a case that it is isolated and would be better suited for AAAAA, its current classification. Cook, placed up in AAAA because it was deemed isolated, will argue to compete in a lower classification. Cook has AAA enrollment.
Here are the current region assignments: http://www.ghsa.net/sites/default/files/documents/reclassification/2014-16_Region_Alignments.pdf
Note that Region 6-AAAAA – originally a monstrous 17-team region of schools from DeKalb to Clayton counties – was reworked in December as a 13-team league that includes state football champion Creekside, M.L. King and Stephenson.
Here are the 12 requests for lateral transfers:
Milton from Region 5 to Region 6
Salem from Region 8 to Region 4-B
North Atlanta from Region 6 to Region 7
Grady from Region 5 to Region 6
Pike County from Region 5 to Region 4
Walnut Grove from Region 8 to Region 4
Adairsville from Region 5 to Region 6
New Meriwether County from Region 5 to Region 2
Pinecrest Academy from Region 6 to Region 8
Portal from Region 3-A to Region 3-B
SW Atlanta Christian from Region 6 to Region 5
Whitefield Academy from Region 5 to Region 6