On Tuesday, the Georgia High School Association released its new region alignment plan for the 2014-15 school year, effective until the end of the 2016 school year.
While county teams won’t be changing classification or regions through 2016, there will be alterations to Region 2A-AAAAA.
Evans High School was classified as a new Class AAAAAA team on Nov. 18, but because they would be isolated, the Knights remain in Region 2A-AAAAA with Greenbrier, Grovetown and Lakeside. Joining the county teams in the sub-region are their counterparts from Richmond County making the jump up from Region 3B-AAAA: Cross Creek and Richmond Academy. Subregion 2B stays status quo with Houston County, Jones County, Northside Warner Robins and Warner Robins.
The region plans won’t become official until they are ratified on Jan. 14 by the GHSA’s executive committee.
The last weekend in January, all coaches and athletic directors in Region 2-AAAAA will meet in Jones County to come up with scheduling formats and playoff procedures and to adopt a new constitution.
They will have plenty to discuss.
In the current region, the eight football teams played each other once in addition to three out-of-region games, with the top four teams advancing to the state playoffs. Now, the coaches must figure out the best way to find their state qualifiers. Will they just add two region games to each team’s schedule, leaving them with one out-of-region-contest, or will they come up with a different solution?
In basketball, softball and baseball, the four county teams played each other three times to set up seeding for the region tournament, with the top four teams coming out of the tournament headed to the state playoffs. With the imbalance of six teams in one subregion and four in the other, another system will have to be put in place.
I’m pretty set in my ways and not a big fan of change and I like the way the regions have been the past two years because it has given me a great opportunity to see the county teams go head-to-head.
That said, I welcome Cross Creek and Richmond Academy into the fold. It’s not like they’re an unknown quantity as they have been battling it out with Columbia County teams across the sports spectrum for years.
Harlem remains in Region 3-AA for the next two years and will have to travel a bit farther for games. Westside, Josey and Laney have departed – moving up to Region 3-AAA – and in their stead comes Jefferson County and Swainsboro moving down from Class AAA while Metter makes a lateral transition from Region 2N-AA.