The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

January 22, 2014

New AHSAA 7A classification has ripple effect in Limestone County

The Alabama High School Athletic Association unanimously approved a new seven-classification system for championship play Wednesday beginning with the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years. The seven-class system is being adopted for all sports.

The 7A classification will have a ripple effect across the state and no more so than in Limestone County.

Ardmore, Athens and Elkmont will move up a classification beginning in August 2014.

Ardmore moved from 4A to 5A, Athens from 5A to 6A and Elkmont from 3A to 4A. Athens and Elkmont have not changed classifications since 1984 when the AHSAA went from four to six classifications. Ardmore was a 3A school until 2004.

“When we saw there was 60 (schools) in a class, we knew that would put us in 5A,” said Ardmore Athletic Director Rusty Bates. “We’ve been growing each year. So we kind of knew we were getting close. If people above you start losing kids, then naturally, you are going to move up.”

The new seven-classification football alignment places the 32 largest high schools in the new Class 7A. The remaining six classes were divided as equally as possible with 60 schools in 6A, 61 in 5A, 60 in 4A, 60 in 3A, 58 in 2A and 58 making up Class 1A.

If they AHSAA had put 56 teams in 5A, Ardmore would have been the largest school in Class 4A. Instead, Ardmore will be the 10th smallest in 5A and is nine students over the 386-student population cutoff for 4A.

Elkmont finds itself in a similar position as one of the smallest schools in Class 4A. Elkmont moves up from 3A and is the sixth smallest school in 4A.

“We were kind of hearing that we might move up,” said Elmont principal Garth Garris. “We got word that it would be 60 teams in each class except 7A, so that pushed us into 4A. We were the eighth largest school in 3A, so we thought there was a chance (to remain 3A). We were anticipating which way they would send us.”

Athens will compete in the 6A classification for the first time in school history. AHS is one of many 5A teams across North Alabama, including Cullman, Hartselle and Muscle Shoals that will compete against one another in Class 6A.

“No, we were not surprised,” said Athens principal Christopher Bolin about the move. “We would have stayed 5A if they would have stayed with six classes. From a travel standpoint, there is not much difference.”

East Limestone is now the eighth largest school in Class 5A. West Limestone, Clements and Tanner remained in the middle of their respective classifications.

AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said the seven-class system allows the AHSAA to group schools more closely in enrollment, also reduces the need for nine-team regions in football and has created fewer five-team areas in sports like basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball.

“It also will allow more schools to make the state playoffs and will crown more state champions than at any other time in the history of our organization,” said Savarese.

AHSAA also voted to allow football teams 11 weeks to schedule 10 games.

Schools can still agree to play a noncounting jamboree or regulation game that first week but would then have the remaining 10 weeks to schedule the maximum 10 regular-season contests. This format will give schools more flexibility to schedule nonregion games.

See Friday’s News Courier for an in-depth look at the new area alignments for football and all other sports.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • CEO: Sterling staying on a 'disaster' for Clippers

    Coach Doc Rivers has said he'll resign from the Los Angeles Clippers if Donald Sterling remains owner, the team's interim CEO testified, saying such a move would be a "disaster" for the franchise.

    July 23, 2014

  • Survey finds sharp increase in teen use of HGH

    In a confidential 2013 survey of 3,705 high school students, 11 percent reported using synthetic HGH at least once — up from about 5 percent in the four preceding annual surveys.

    July 23, 2014

  • CEO: Clippers coach to quit if Sterling stays

    CEO Richard Parsons testified at a trial to determine whether Sterling's wife, Shelly, can sell the team for $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer as the NBA looks to force Donald Sterling from the league over racist statements.

    July 23, 2014

  • dunk.jpg Tedford, Potts take on the South

    While the North team has a lengthy winning streak in the basketball series, Tedford and Potts will face a tough battle against three players already committed to SEC schools on the South team.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arkansas State player earns conference honors

    Qushaun Lee led conference in tackles with 134 —the sixth most tackles in conference history and most by an Arkansas State player since 1991.

    July 22, 2014

  • Clippers' future on line as probate trial resumes

    The future of the Los Angeles Clippers is closer to decision as testimony resumes Monday in a probate trial over whether a deal negotiated by Donald Sterling's estranged wife to sell the team for $2 billion is authorized under a Sterling family trust.

    Sterling, the volatile owner of the team, agreed to the sale but then tried to revoke consent in spite of a signed letter instructing his wife Shelly Sterling to sell for the highest price she could get.

    July 21, 2014

  • Tuesday could be time to 'play ball' for Biloxi

    July 21, 2014

  • Manchester United adds Hernandez for U.S. tour

    Javier Hernandez played for Mexico in the World Cup, appearing in all four of El Tri's games and scoring against Croatia.

    July 20, 2014

  • AP sources: Bon Jovi part of group eyeing Bills

    Jon Bon Jovi previously expressed interest in owning an NFL franchise but never specifically mentioned the Bills.

    July 19, 2014

  • Former NFLers: Painkillers easy to get up to 2012

    The NFL is not aware of "any DEA subpoenas or investigations into club practices," spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an email Friday.

    July 18, 2014

Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee