Reclassification: Schools argue Tuesday to change regions

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:

AAAAAA

Milton from Region 5 to Region 6

AAAAA

Salem from Region 8 to Region 4-B

North Atlanta from Region 6 to Region 7

AAAA

Grady from Region 5 to Region 6

Pike County from Region 5 to Region 4

Walnut Grove from Region 8 to Region 4

AAA

Adairsville from Region 5 to Region 6

New Meriwether County from Region 5 to Region 2

A

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

19 comments Add your comment

Dekalb Co Guy

January 6th, 2014
1:22 pm

@Todd

I know lateral transfers are unlikely, but seems Grady would have a good argument to shift to region 6 considering they have been in that region for years and the schools in region 5 involves significantly more travel for them.

Todd Holcomb

January 6th, 2014
1:31 pm

Grady would appear to have a better shot than most. What works against many schools making their cases is not the strength of their own case (ie, what’s good for them) but whether the new region members would want you. The ‘new’ region can make an argument against it. In fact, I remember being in one of these meetings a few years back when Buford wanted to get out of a region w/ Lovett and Westminster and join 8-AA. Buford made a great case of how travel would be saved. Well, suffice to say that every member of 8-AA was AGAINST that idea now matter what the travel numbers said. Once you are placed, your move to another region must be welcome news to most everybody or somebody will throw a wrench in it.

From the Sidelines

January 6th, 2014
2:01 pm

Based on what’s being done for Gwinnett in AAAAAA. Milton and Roswell should be moved to Region 6 as does Hughes and Westlake. Each County should be able to have their own “County Region” Region 2 could take in E Coweta, Douglas Co. and Newnan. Regions 3 & 4 Cobb Co. strength vs weakness and Region 5 would be made up of Cherokee and Forsyth Co. Drop Habersham Central to Region 8 in AAAAA for travel purposes.

North Atlanta has never wanted to play with the “city schools” they have always wanted to play with schools more their “speed” – North Springs and Riverwood. With a nearly $8m in athletic facilities you’d think APS would have put a stadium on the new NA campus. Not.

Grady should be moved on travel conditions alone.

RexDogma

January 6th, 2014
2:26 pm

Leave Grady where they are at. I believe they got caught recruiting. Who would want them in a region. Also It would put 9 in region 6. Too many. Put them with N. Atlanta or somebody.

StephensonFan

January 6th, 2014
2:53 pm

Does anybody know how region 6 5A will pan out?? With 13 teams region 6 will be very deep! With only 4 teams that can make the playoffs, every week these teams better come correct or they will be sitting home. There is a great chance a very good team may not even see the playoffs. I’m curious to see the schedules of the region 6 teams, especially Stephenson’s.

Dekalb Co Guy

January 6th, 2014
4:31 pm

@Stephenson Fan

The most likely alignment for 5A Reg 6 is sub regions with Atlanta/ S Fulton in one and the Dekalb schools in the opposite sub region.

For example:

Sub Region A

Mays
Carver
N Atlanta
Creekside
Tri Cities
Banneker

Sub Region B

Clarkston
Druid Hills
Dunwoody
ML King
Miller Grove
Stephenson
SW Dekalb

itsonlywrite

January 6th, 2014
4:38 pm

@Todd Holcomb … so Buford was crying about traveling huh? lol smh

#ELEPHANTNATION

the truth

January 6th, 2014
5:04 pm

@itsonlywrite….What is even worse is all the other schools crying that they have to play Buford.

itsonlywrite

January 6th, 2014
6:43 pm

@the truth … smh sadness man… lol I can see smaller schools saying that, but bigger schools need to just man up.

#ELEPHANTNATION

NoDistrictLinesInDekalb

January 7th, 2014
8:13 am

Chances are that Grady won’t get what they want because of the situation that came to light. On the other hand the football team will be less than competive. They will probably lose their coach and some of their returning non resident starters.
Teams in the region where they want to go already have been busy finding 3 games. With Grady moving they will only have 2 non region games. Not sure how those schools feel about that. Who really wants to travel to downtown Atlanta on a Friday with all that traffic?
Finally glad to see football teams can play up if they want to…… I guess Buford didn’t get that memo! I heard a rumour they were trying to play an out of state a game or two lets hope so. It most be real boring playing a region slate that doesn’t really give you a game.

mp dogs

January 7th, 2014
10:16 am

I think pike county has a great chance to win there request because region 4 wants them and that’s where they should be anyway.

Furman Paladin Death Dealer

January 7th, 2014
10:31 am

Boy, am I glad we finally nailed down the the only school recruiting in our great state of Georgia. What a joke!!!! Will the landscape ever change and the playing field be leveled?? They nail Grady this year and last year it was the powerhouse Shiloh. We got to get to letting all these transfers sit out a year, and at least you could stop juniors who will be seniors from transferring in their last year of high school just to have a shot at winning a ring. It has gotten to a point that South Georgia schools are at a huge disadvantage because of their many one school counties who don’t have the proximity to “legally” transfer to a school you know is gonna win. If you don’t have transfers or recruits as some would say, you are not gonna play for a championship(unless you are WACO). While I question the “bonafide moves” of many of these players, we got to get these wholesale transfers stopped. Until we do you can go ahead and hand out the state championship trophies before the 1st game. As a purist of high school football, it really bothers me to see what is happening in our state now, winning championships as the direct results of “transfers”. It’s a shame to see the Grady coach and selective others thrown under the bus when everyone with a brain knows this is so widespread now. Have we come just to accept this now??? Here’s hoping not and that the GHSA will level the playing field.

eli

January 7th, 2014
10:59 am

wonder can Camden play in Fla. Its 200 miles to Lee Co,

athensbball

January 7th, 2014
12:19 pm

@todd holclomI think you have the Class A swaps backwards. Whitefield is already in 6 and Pinecrest is already in 8….etc.

Taco

January 7th, 2014
1:43 pm

Can some please post the new region alignments? Does this go into effect for 2014 Spring sports or just next Fall?

:D

January 7th, 2014
3:51 pm

next fall you wouldn’t change regions during a school year

Top Tigers

January 7th, 2014
7:22 pm

Region 6AAAAA we are going to miss the battle every Friday night,but Region 2AAAAAA get ready the Tucker Tigers are coming.

WE ARE TUCKER

robert

January 8th, 2014
10:14 pm

Todd what do you see could be done if anything to help in these isolation situations. Take Camden. Richmond hill and Effingham Co. if they would have been in 6A Region 1 Camden would have had two closer more potential rival games whereas now all our region games except for the Valdosta schools are so far. It just hurts the bottom line $$$. I am afraid if something doesn’t happen down south to garner more schools gaining students to move back into 6A aka Brunswick, Coffee, Bradwell, etc you are going to see less and less support for these far away games. People find it hard to get off from work and travel 150-200 miles to see their children participate. It is going to be a big problem mark my word. Lee county is on the other side of Albany from Kingsland and St Marys. Both schools having to travel for a regular season region game not the playoffs is just sad.

Royal Country

January 8th, 2014
10:33 pm

I heard Dodge County applied for its “football” team to play against private school’s girls volleyball league.