AHSAA releases new reclassificationsPublished 4:31pm Tuesday, January 28, 2014
By Bart Moss
For the FCT
Last week the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) made the most sweeping change to its classification system since 1984.
The AHSAA Central Board of Control approved the move from six classifications to seven classifications creating a “Super Seventh” classification of the state’s 32 largest schools. The ripple effects of the new classification were wide-reaching affecting all local schools scheduling for the next two years.
The biggest move in Franklin County was Tharptown jumping from 1A to 2A after less than ten years as a high school.
Russellville remained a 5A school but lost many of their football region rivals including Muscle Shoals, which jumped to 6A.
Phil Campbell and Red Bay both remain 2A schools, and Belgreen and Vina will remain 1A schools.
Average Daily Attendance, which helped determine the reclassification, of schools within Franklin County are:
5A – Russellville (473.50)
2A – Phil Campbell (181.20)
2A – Red Bay (152.9)
2A – Tharptown (144.85)
1A – Belgreen (97.7)
1A – Vina (78.35)
The new 2014 – 2016 football region alignments that affect Franklin County schools are as follows:
5A – Region 8
Russellville, Ardmore, Columbia, East Limestone, J.O. Johnson, Lawrence County, Pope John Paul II, West Point
2A – Region 8
Phil Campbell, Red Bay, Tharptown, Cherokee, Mars Hill, Hatton, Sulligent
1A – Region 8
Vina, Decatur Heritage, Hackleburg, R.A. Hubbard, Phillips, Shoals Christian, Vina, Waterloo
Other notes on reclassification:
- In the past, basketball, baseball, softball and volleyball played in the same areas. That is no longer the case. Each sport is a little different. Those alignments will be listed at a later date to avoid confusion with the current seasons.
- Russellville lost a lot of rivals due to reclassification. The most noticeable team absent from Russellville’s region is Muscle Shoals, which jumped to 6A. They will also not be on Russellville’s schedule as a non-region game next season. (See non-region opponents below.)
- Schools have had to rush to complete their 2014 football schedules because of the three-month delay in reclassification. The most difficult task is that of scheduling non-region games. You can find each team’s non-region opponents below.
- Mars Hill, traditionally a basketball and baseball power, will be playing football for the first time. They will be in the same region as Phil Campbell, Tharptown and Red Bay.
- Russellville will be traveling east for many of their games. Russellville is the western-most school in their region. Most region opponents are in the Huntsville/Decatur area. The closest opponent is Lawrence County.
- 2A, Region 8 is almost a football Franklin County Tournament with three of the four county schools in the same region (Phil Campbell, Red Bay, Tharptown).
- The largest school in the state is still Hoover with an ADA of 1978.55. The smallest school in the state, Paint Rock Valley, shrunk from an ADA of 14 to 13 since the last reclassification.
- Other than a couple of outliers, most of the Super Seventh class of schools are from the metro areas of Huntsville, Birmingham, Mobile, and Montgomery
Non-region football opponents for Franklin County teams are as follows:
Phil Campbell - Falkville, Sumiton Christian, Phillips, Hackleburg
Red Bay – Colbert Heights, Belmont (MS), Haleyville, Marion County
Russellville – Deshler, Cullman and Sparkman
Tharptown – Phillips, Hackleburg, Decatur Heritage, Hubbertville
Vina – Holy Spirit, Meek, Southeastern