• GHSA puts schools in regions for 2020-21

    By: Todd Holcomb

    Updated:

    The Georgia High School Association placed its 468 member schools into regions for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years on Tuesday after hearing requests to move up and appeals to move down in classification.

    The GHSA's reclassification committee blocked five schools with Class A enrollment from moving into Class AA. The committee also let Dacula, Greater Atlanta Christian and St. Pius enter classes lower than originally classified but denied bids by Calhoun, Woodward Academy and Blessed Trinity to do the same.

    As planned, the GHSA split Class A into public- and private-school divisions, each with eight regions. Class A Private has only 40 football-playing schools, 32 that will make the playoffs. The small numbers resulted in three four-team regions.

    The reclass committee will meet again next Tuesday to hear requests to change regions within the same class and to hear appeals of schools that were denied their requests to move up.

    Class AA schools breathed sighs of relief when the GHSA denied the requests of Christian Heritage, Darlington, Holy Innocents', Pace Academy and Wesleyan to move up.

    Denials of play-up requests are extremely rare if not unprecedented, but they were applauded by AA members, who will have easier paths to state championships.

    The five schools that appealed to move into AA won 10 state titles in 2018-19. All five have been in the top 10 of the football rankings at some point this season.

    The only private schools that have competed in AA the past four seasons are Benedictine, which moved to AAA in 2018, and St. Vincent's, a Savannah girls school that has won five state titles in that time.

    Lovett, currently a AAA private school, and Riverside Military, currently Class A, will be the only private schools in AA for 2020-21. They were placed there based on enrollment.

    Dacula, the school with the No. 1-ranked football team in AAAAAA, won an appeal that will prevent it from moving up to the highest classification in 2020-21. So did Richmond Hill, which faced the prospect of joining Lowndes and Colquitt County in Region 1-AAAAAAA but got to stay put.

    St. Pius and Greater Atlanta Christian also won reclassification victories.

    But Blessed Trinity, Calhoun, Starr's Mill and Woodward Academy were not so fortunate. They remain assigned to Class AAAAA. Calhoun and Starr's Mill were dismissed unanimously, but Woodard and Blessed Trinity each lost by votes of 9-7.

    For Calhoun, that's a two-class bump from its current AAA. Woodward and Blessed Trinity are moving up one class. Rutland of Macon also lost its appeal and must compete in AAA.

    Fourteen schools won appeals to play lower than originally placed. St. Pius now is slated for AAAAA while GAC is pegged for AAA.

    Other schools allowed to compete lower than originally classified are Bryan County (approved for Class A), Central of Macon (AAA), Chamblee (AAAAA), Druid Hills (AAAA), KIPP Atlanta (AA), North Springs (AAAAA), Richmond Academy (AAA), Screven County (A), Social Circle (A) and Westover (AAAA).

    Winning an appeal typically requires that a school show proof that its enrollment or out-of-zone numbers are inaccurate, deceiving or produce no competitive advantage. Richmond Hill made a case based on isolation. Richmond Hill is an average of 155 miles from the current members of 1-AAAAAAA, its likely region.

    Below are the GHSA's proposed regions. Class A schools that do not play football have not yet been placed in regions.

    Class AAAAAAA

    Region 1

    Camden Co.

    Colquitt Co.

    Lowndes

    Tift Co.

    Region 2

    Campbell

    East Coweta

    McEachern

    Newnan

    Pebblebrook

    Region 3

    Harrison

    Hillgrove

    Marietta

    North Cobb

    North Paulding

    Walton

    Region 4

    Brookwood

    Grayson

    Newton

    Parkview

    Shiloh

    South Gwinnett

    Region 5

    Alpharetta

    Cherokee

    Etowah

    Milton

    Roswell

    Woodstock

    Region 6

    Forsyth Central

    Gainesville

    Lambert

    North Forsyth

    South Forsyth

    West Forsyth

    Region 7

    Archer

    Berkmar

    Discovery

    Dunwoody

    Meadowcreek

    Norcross

    Region 8

    Collins Hill

    Duluth

    Mill Creek

    Mountain View

    North Gwinnett

    Peachtree Ridge

    Class AAAAAA

    Region 1

    Houston Co.

    Lee Co.

    Northside (Warner Robins)

    Valdosta

    Region 2

    Bradwell Institute

    Brunswick

    Effingham Co.

    Glynn Academy

    Richmond Hill

    South Effingham

    Statesboro

    Region 3

    Alcovy

    Evans

    Grovetown

    Heritage (Conyers)

    Lakeside (Evans)

    Rockdale Co.

    Region 4

    Hughes

    Lakeside (Atlanta)

    Lovejoy

    Morrow

    North Atlanta

    Tucker

    Westlake

    Region 5

    Alexander

    Carrollton

    Dalton

    Douglas Co.

    East Paulding

    Paulding Co.

    Rome

    South Paulding

    Region 6

    Allatoona

    Kell

    Kennesaw Mountain

    Lassiter

    Osborne

    Pope

    South Cobb

    Sprayberry

    Wheeler

    Region 7

    Cambridge

    Centennial

    Chattahoochee

    Creekview

    Johns Creek

    River Ridge

    Riverwood

    Sequoyah

    Region 8

    Buford

    Central Gwinnett

    Dacula

    Denmark

    Habersham Central

    Lanier

    Winder-Barrow

    Class AAAAA

    Region 1

    Coffee

    Veterans

    Ware Co.

    Warner Robins

    Wayne Co.

    Region 2

    Griffin

    Harris Co.

    McIntosh

    Northgate

    Northside, Col.

    Starr's Mill

    Whitewater

    Region 3

    Banneker

    Creekside

    Drew

    Forest Park

    Jonesboro

    Mundy's Mill

    Tri-Cities

    Woodward Acad.

    Region 4

    Dutchtown

    Eagle's Landing

    Jones Co.

    Locust Grove

    Ola

    Stockbridge

    Union Grove

    Woodland, Stock.

    Region 5

    Chamblee

    Clarkston

    Cross Keys

    Decatur

    Lithonia

    M.L. King

    Southwest DeKalb

    St. Pius

    Stone Mountain

    Region 6

    Chapel Hill

    Grady

    Jackson, Atlanta

    Lithia Springs

    New Manchester

    North Springs

    Villa Rica

    Region 7

    Blessed Trinity

    Calhoun

    Cartersville

    Cass

    Hiram

    Northview

    Woodland, Cart.

    Region 8

    Apalachee

    Clarke Central

    Eastside

    Greenbrier

    Jackson Co.

    Johnson, Gaines.

    Loganville

    Walnut Grove

    Class AAAA

    Region 1

    Bainbridge

    Cairo

    Dougherty

    Monroe

    Thomas Co. Central

    Westover

    Region 2

    Carver (Columbus)

    Columbus

    Hardaway

    Jordan

    Kendrick

    LaGrange

    Shaw

    Spencer

    Troup

    Region 3

    Benedictine

    Burke Co.

    Islands

    Jenkins

    New Hampstead

    Region 4

    Baldwin

    Howard

    Perry

    Spalding

    West Laurens

    Region 5

    Fayette Co.

    Hampton

    Luella

    McDonough

    Mount Zion (Jones.)

    North Clayton

    Riverdale

    Region 6

    Arabia Mountain

    Druid Hills

    Hapeville Charter

    Marist

    Mays

    Miller Grove

    Stephenson

    Region 7

    Cedartown

    Central (Carrollton)

    Heritage (Ringgold)

    Northwest Whitfield

    Pickens

    Ridgeland

    Southeast Whitfield

    Region 8

    Cedar Shoals

    Chestatee

    East Hall

    Flowery Branch

    Jefferson

    Madison Co.

    North Oconee

    Class AAA

    Region 1

    Appling Co.

    Brantley Co.

    Liberty Co.

    Long Co.

    Pierce Co.

    Tattnall Co.

    Region 2

    Americus-Sumter

    Central (Macon)

    Crisp County

    Jackson

    Mary Persons

    Peach Co.

    Pike Co.

    Rutland

    Upson-Lee

    Westside (Macon)

    Region 3

    Beach

    Groves

    Johnson (Sav.)

    Savannah

    Sav. Arts Academy

    Southeast Bulloch

    Windsor Forest

    Region 4

    Cross Creek

    Harlem

    Hephzibah

    Morgan Co.

    Richmond Academy

    Thomson

    Westside (Augusta)

    Region 5

    Carver (Atlanta)

    Cedar Grove

    Douglass

    GAC

    Redan

    Salem

    Sandy Creek

    Westminster

    Region 6

    Adairsville

    Coahulla Creek

    LaFayette

    Lakeview-Ft. Ogle.

    Murray Co.

    North Murray

    Ringgold

    Rockmart

    Sonoraville

    Region 7

    Cherokee Bluff

    Dawson Co.

    Gilmer

    Lumpkin Co.

    North Hall

    West Hall

    White Co.

    Region 8

    East Jackson

    Franklin Co.

    Hart Co.

    Monroe Area

    Oconee Co.

    Stephens Co.

    Class AA

    Region 1

    Berrien

    Cook

    Early Co.

    Fitzgerald

    Thomasville

    Worth Co.

    Region 2

    Bacon Co.

    East Laurens

    Jeff Davis

    Swainsboro

    Toombs Co.

    Vidalia

    Woodville-Tompkins

    Region 3

    Bleckley Co.

    Dodge Co.

    Lamar Co.

    Monticello

    Northeast

    Southwest

    Washington Co.

    Region 4

    Butler

    Glenn Hills

    Jefferson Co.

    Josey

    Laney

    Putnam Co.

    Region 5

    Bremen

    Callaway

    Haralson Co.

    Heard Co.

    Temple

    Region 6

    Columbia

    KIPP Atl. Collegiate

    Lovett

    McNair

    South Atlanta

    Stillwell Arts

    Therrell

    Towers

    Washington

    Region 7

    Chattooga

    Coosa

    Dade Co.

    Gordon Central

    Model

    Pepperell

    Region 8

    Banks Co.

    Elbert Co.

    Fannin Co.

    Oglethorpe Co.

    Rabun Co.

    Riverside Military

    Union Co.

    Class A Private

    Region 1

    Deerfield-Windsor

    First Presbyterian

    Mount de Sales

    Stratford Academy

    Strong Rock Christ.

    Tattnall Square

    Region 2

    ELCA

    Landmark Christian

    Our Lady of Mercy

    Whitefield Academy

    Region 3

    Aquinas

    Calvary Day

    Savannah Christian

    Sav. Country Day

    Region 4

    Brookstone

    Heritage (Newnan)

    Pacelli

    Trinity Christian

    Region 5

    Hebron Christian

    Holy Innocents'

    Mt. Pisgah Christ.

    Mount Vernon

    Pace Academy

    Providence Christ.

    Wesleyan

    Region 6

    Fellowship Christian

    King's Ridge Christ.

    Lakeview Academy

    Pinecrest Academy

    St. Francis

    Region 7

    Christian Heritage

    Darlington

    Mt. Paran Christian

    North Cobb Christ.

    Walker

    Region 8

    Athens Academy

    Athens Christian

    George Walton

    Loganville Christian

    Prince Avenue

    Class A Public

    Region 1

    Baconton Charter

    Brooks Co.

    Calhoun Co.

    Miller Co.

    Mitchell Co.

    Pataula Charter

    Pelham

    Randolph-Clay

    Seminole Co.

    Terrell Co.

    Region 2

    Atkinson Co.

    Charlton Co.

    Clinch Co.

    Irwin Co.

    Lanier Co.

    McIntosh Co. Academy

    Turner Co.

    Region 3

    Bryan Co.

    Claxton

    Emanuel Co. Inst.

    Jenkins Co.

    Johnson Co.

    Metter

    Montgomery Co.

    Portal

    Screven Co.

    Treutlen

    Region 4

    Dooly Co.

    Dublin

    Hawkinsville

    Telfair Co.

    Twiggs Co.

    Wheeler Co.

    Wilcox Co.

    Region 5

    Central (Talbotton)

    Chattahoochee Co.

    Greenville

    Macon Co.

    Manchester

    Marion Co.

    Schley Co.

    Stewart Co.

    Taylor Co.

    Region 6

    Armuchee

    B.E.S.T. Academy

    Bowdon

    Gordon Lee

    Mount Zion (Carroll)

    Trion

    Region 7

    ACE Charter

    Crawford Co.

    Georgia Military

    Glascock Co.

    Hancock Central

    Wilkinson Co.

    Region 8

    Commerce

    Greene Co.

    Lincoln Co.

    Social Circle

    Towns Co.

    Warren Co.

    Washington-Wilkes

    Next Up: