THOMASTON – One of the biggest positives for the Houston County schools through the Georgia High School Association reclassification process was moving into a travel-friendly region.
Travel, however, will still be a concern following the GHSA reclassification committee region placement meeting on Wednesday at the organization’s headquarters.
Houston County, Northside and Warner Robins will move to Region 1-AAAA to play in a region with schools from Bainbridge, Columbus, Hamilton, Leesburg and Thomasville beginning with the 2010-11 school year. That region will be home for the next four years, as the GHSA is going to a four-year reclassification cycle for the first time.
Houston County, Northside and Warner Robins had been locked into Region 1-AAAAA for the past two years (and much longer for Houston County and Warner Robins). That required travel to Moultrie, Tifton and Valdosta for region contests. With lower FTE numbers, the three schools dropped to Class AAAA and hoped their new regions wouldn’t have as long of trips.
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From a competition standpoint, the drop in classification and new region shouldn’t pose as much of a threat as playing in Region 1-AAAAA, a region many consider the toughest in the state.
The four Bibb County AAA schools (Central, Howard, Rutland and Westside) were grouped as expected with Mary Persons, Peach County, Perry and Veterans. Baldwin and West Laurens were also added to the group to create one of the tougher AAA football regions in the state.
First Presbyterian Day will be placed in an Atlanta-area region. The Vikings avoided going south or east and will instead be placed in a region with other private schools. It is a massive region, however, with more than 20 schools that includes many of the powerhouse schools in Class A like Wesleyan and Whitefield Academy. Many of those schools don’t play all sports, including a large number that don’t play football.
Eagle’s Landing Christian, a former GISA school, had immediate success in that region when it moved to the GHSA, but the region is much larger now.
Northeast and Southwest will be placed in Region 4-AA with Crawford County, Greene County, Lamar County, Monticello, Morgan County, Pike County and Putnam County.