Local high schools prepare for reclassification

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 2, 2001

Sports Writer

The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control recently approved

its reclassification plan for the 2002-03 and 2003-04 school years at its recent spring meeting which was held in Montgomery.

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While all of the local AHSAA sanctioned schools will remain in the same classifications, there were several changes made concerning the makeup of the regions in football along with the areas in basketball and baseball concerning Pike and Crenshaw county schools.

The Goshen High School Eagles will be in Class 2A Region 3

with some new and

familiar faces. Among the schools joining the Eagles in the eight team region include Billingsley, Calera, R.C Hatch (Uniontown), Highland Home, Marbury and Keith (0rrville). The most significant change in Goshen’s region is the addition of arch rival Luverne, who will drop from 3A next year. The Tigers and the Eagles were in the same area from 1996-1999 as one of south Alabama’s most bitter rivalries developed. Among some of interesting additions was G.W. Long moving up from 1A and perennial 2A powerhouse Clay County dropping down a classification.

In basketball, the Eagles will be joined with Highland Home, G.W Long, Luverne and New Brockton in 2A Area 4. Capitol City perennial roundball power St. Jude of Montgomery was dropped to 1A. As far as baseball is concerned, Goshen will be in Class 2A Area 5 with Georgiana, Luverne and Highland Home.

The Pike County High School Bulldogs will see six new teams in Class 3A Region 1 next year. After playing against Montgomery area and east central Alabama teams in Region 2 this season, the Bulldogs will

be in a much tougher region facing several powers from southwest Alabama with only Calhoun from Lowndes County as the solo region team PCHS will face in ’01. The other six schools include Central-Hayneville, current 4A perennial power Clarke County, Elba, defending ’00 4A state champion T.R. Miller (Brewton), W.S. Neal and Straughn.

PCHS won’t have it easy in basketball either as the Bulldogs will be in a rugged four team area which includes ’01 2A state champion Barbour County, 3A Final Four participant Calhoun and ’00 4A state runner-up Central-Hayneville. In baseball, the Bulldogs will be in Area 3 with

the same three schools.

Abbeville, Dora, Central-Hayneville and Sumter County are the notable schools which dropped from 4A, while Straughn moves up after spending several years in Class 2A.

In Class 5A, the Charles Henderson High School Trojans will see four new faces in Region 2. Among the members for football include Carroll (Ozark), Escambia County (Atmore), Eufaula, Greenville, Russell County, Booker T. Washington (Tuskegee) and Wilcox Central (Camden). In basketball and baseball, the Trojans will be in Class 5A Area 3 with Escambia County, Greenville and Wilcox Central.

Among some of the notable moves concerning 5A include Fairhope, Jess Lanier, Thompson, Ensley West End (Birmingham) and Butler moving down from 6A and Oxford moving from the north to the central and south Alabama segment of the football

playoffs. Oxford was placed in Region 3 with Elmore County schools Stanhope Elmore and Wetumpka.

The Brantley Bulldogs will remain Class 1A Region 2 with former 2A members Cottonwood and Houston County along with Florala, Kinston, Pleasant Home and Zion Chapel.

Among some of the other interesting changes approved by the Central Board included the ASHAA appointing a committee concerning the sports calendar and designating weeks 1, 5 and 10 of the football season for non-region games only.