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GHSA to expand class system in '12
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The Georgia High School Association will have a brand new look to it beginning in the 2012-13 school year as it will divide schools into six classifications – up from the current five-class setup.

Tuesday, the executive committee of the GHSA passed a slim 26-24 vote in favor of switching to the six-tiered system when the most recent region realignments run their course after next year.

"This was sort of a sudden decision, but we’re prepared for it," said Statesboro High athletic director Ken LeCain. "The biggest issue for most schools in any realignment or reclassification are travel issues. I think that we set up alright for any scenario that would have come about in that regard."

Final classifications for schools will be determined near the end of this year.

In mid October, an official enrollment count will be taken at all GHSA schools and the schools will be informed of the classification they will fall into.

From there, a brief open period will exist in which schools can accept their position or petition to move up — but not down — in classification. Final classifications and region alignments for the 2012-13 year will likely be decided upon and announced in December or January.

"I’m not sure exactly where we’ll fall," said LeCain of Statesboro’s new classification. "We might be right on the edge of Class-AAAA or Class-AAAAA. We’ll just have to wait and see."

A preliminary list — based on enrollment counts and senior classes from October of 2010 — was released, giving an idea of what can be expected.

The result implies that a drastic shake-up could be in store for area teams.

While the projection predicts Statesboro to stay in the same Region 2-AAAA that it has called home for the last two years, the Blue Devils are slated for some new neighbors.

Of the 12 current teams in the region, only Statesboro and Wayne County are projected into the 2012-13 version of the region.

Burke County would join the Devils, along with Savannah High, Groves, Hephzibah, Richmond Academy, and five other schools from either the Augusta or Savannah area.

Also staying put — and retaining many of its current rivals — in the projection is Portal, which would stay in Region 3-AA. In fact, 10 of the current 13 members of the region would remain the same, with one notable departure coming in Metter’s ascension to Class-AA.

The only area school projected to move up in the change is Southeast Bulloch, which will likely go from Class-AA to Class-AAA.


Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.