The new region alignments will help Douglas County schools continue, and in some cases, renew some rivalries.
The GHSA placed schools in regions, effective for the 2022-23 school year, as county schools will compete in either Class 6A or 5A over the next two school years.
Alexander, Douglas County and New Manchester were placed in Region 5-6A while Chapel Hill and Lithia Springs will compete in Region 5-5A from 2022-2024.
“The system was fair to all our schools,” Douglas County Schools Superintendent Trent North said. “We are pleased where our schools landed. They all appear to be in very good places.”
Unlike the last re-alignment, which had Douglas County and Alexander competing against Rome and Dalton, there are no long travel concerns with the new region.
Joining the three county schools in Region 5-6A will be East Paulding, Langston Hughes, Newnan, Paulding County and South Paulding.
“I’m really glad to see some stability and some familiar faces in the new region,” Alexander athletic director John Chandler said. “I’m glad to see the other Douglas County teams in there with us. We can take care of each other. I love the geographic advantage we have in the region.”
Chapel Hill won its appeal to the GHSA to remain in Class 5A after it was originally put in Class 6A. New Manchester lost its appeal to stay in Class 5A and was bumped up one class.
Joining Chapel Hill and Lithia Springs in the new region will be Banneker, Creekside, Jackson-Atlanta, Mays, Midtown (formerly Grady) and Tri-Cities.
The new regions appear to be balanced as far as competition in all sports.
“I like the new setup,” Douglas County athletic director Mike Richards said. “We should do pretty well. We match up well in all sports, and it is travel friendly. We are excited about the future.”
Schools have until today to appeal region assignments, after which they become final. A school can request a different region, but not a different class.
It is unlikely that any county schools will want out of the regions they have been placed in.
Carrollton was moved up to Class 7A, the state’s highest and was placed in Region 72A with some Cobb County (Campbell, Osborne and Pebblebrook) schools alone with East Coweta and Westlake.
Carrollton lost its appeal to remain in Class 6A.
There were 60 schools that appealed their classification placement, which was double the appeals the GHSA heard in the last reclassification in 2019. Most of the appeals stem from the GHSA placing a new 3.0 multiplier designed to place in higher classes schools that get a large percentage of students from outside their attendance zones.
Most of those schools were either private or city schools.
Several private schools have left the GHSA and returned to GISA because of the bump in classification.
“The reclassification committee the whole time was looking at competitive balance and out-of-district numbers, and I think we stuck by that,” Curt Miller, the GHSA reclassification committee chairman told Georgia High School Football Daily.