• 54°

AISA shakes things up heading into next school year

The Alabama Independent School Administration shook things up on Wednesday afternoon when they released the classification of sports for fall of 2018 through 2020.

The Patriots will remain in Class 3A in football, baseball, softball, basketball and cheerleading. Volleyball will be in Class 2A.

On the football field, head coach Gene Allen will remain in Region 2, but they will be joined by two additional teams. Fort Dale, Monroe and Northside remain, but the Patriots will welcome Macon East, formally of Class 2A and new to AISA, Success Unlimited Academy.

“Think it works good for us,” Allen said. “Only one long trip. We were able to keep several rivals and we picked up a couple new schools, one of which is new to the AISA, so no one knows anything about them.”

The biggest change, from the Patriots point of view, comes in baseball, softball and basketball.

Over the last two years the Patriots have been in a three-team region that featured themselves along with Northside and Lakeside.

This year in the three sports, the Patriots will be joined by the Glenwood School, Lee-Scott Academy, Macon East Academy, Northside Methodist and the Springwood School. Lakeside will drop to Class 2A.

“It’s going to be super competitive,” said head baseball and boys basketball coach Allen Ponder. “We have added some teams. Macon East jumps up to 3A. Our side of the region is going to be a lot of fun. On any given day anybody can win. A lot of people don’t like it, but I like it. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Ponder looks forward to going to a six-team region.

“The strange thing for us over the last two years is playing just six area games,” Ponder said. “Adding some teams is going to make your schedule comprise of more area games than normal.”

On the volleyball court the Patriots will be in Class 2A Region 1 Area 2 along with Emmanuel Christian, Macon East Academy, Northside Methodist and the Lakeside School.

Cheerleading will be grouped with Fort Dale, Macon East, Monroe Academy, Northside Methodist and Success Unlimited Academy.