Crunching the numbers
Published 10:31 pm Wednesday, January 22, 2014
CHHS moves to 5A in new reclassification
The long-awaited changed has finally come.
On Wednesday, the Alabama High School Athletic Association announced major changes to the stats quo of the high school sports landscape.
The biggest of the changes involved the creation of a new 7A classification, which is comprised of the 32 largest schools in the state.
The new 7A classification will feature four regions for football, and will see 16 teams make the playoffs.
“The seven-classification system will allow more student-athletes to participate in championship events and more will experience first-hand what it means to play in some of the best venues in our state,” Central Board President Lamar Brooks said in a press release. “With the addition of an extra championship game, revenues should increase which will mean much-needed additional money for all schools through the AHSAA revenue sharing program.”
While none of the Troy-area schools were affected by the new classification, one did move up.
Charles Henderson went back to 5A, after spending the previous two seasons at 4A.
The Trojans were 5A from 1984-2011, and feel comfortable at that level.
“We have been there before, so it won’t be anything new to us,” said Charles Henderson strength coach Adam Helms. “We will see a lot of familiar faces in that region with Eufaula and Greenville. We worry about us every day, and we don’t care who is in our way. We are going to take them on.”
Charles Henderson’s new football region consists of Booker T. Washington (Tuskegee), Greenville, Eufaula, Rehobeth, Alabama Christian (Montgomery) and the largest 5A school, Sidney Lanier (Montgomery).
In basketball, and presumably baseball and softball, Charles Henderson aligns with Eufaula and Rehobeth.
Pike County, the area’s second-largest school, stayed at 3A despite a drop in enrollment numbers.
The Bulldogs advanced to the second-round of the AHSAA playoffs last season, and have been a 3A team for the past 14 years.
“We have been 3A for a little while now, and like where we are,” said head football coach and athletic director Fred Holland. “We have some new region teams for football, but we are largely the same. There were a lot of changes higher up, but we like what we have for the most part.”
Pike County’s football region remained largely untouched, with only Geneva and Cahtholic moving out.
Houston Academy (Dothan) and Wicksburg replacing the two departed teams.
In non-football sports, Pike County will share an area with Barbour County, Abbeville and Dale County.
Region foes Zion Chapel and Goshen will keep seeing one another, as the two school remained at the 2A level.
The only change to the region was the loss of New Brockton to Region 2. With the departure of the Gamecocks, the Rebels and Eagles will compete in a seven-team region in football. The new structure forces the schools to find a fourth non-region game for football.
“While I like our area for the most part, one thing I don’t like is us not having eight teams for football,” said Bradley Bowers, Zion Chapel football coach and AD. “When scheduling games, some teams may have to bite the bullet and take a hit at the gate to fill out the schedule. For a small school like us, that will hurt a little bit.”
Goshen athletic director Bart Snyder liked seeing the Eagles remain at 2A.
“We are in the process of building a program, and we like where we are currently,” said Snyder. “The Goshen schools are growing, and that is a wonderful thing to have. It says a lot about what kind of educators we have here. We like our region opponents, and feel that it makes for really competitive games throughout all sports.”
The new classifications go in to affect following the conclusion of the 2013-14 school year, and will stand until the next reclassification meetings in 2016.