The Georgia High School Association has announced the final alignments for each of the 40 regions within its five classifications: AAAAA to A.
For the schools in the Albany area, the changes are especially significant, because it means that these newly formed regions — for the most part — will stay in place for at least next two years, starting with 2010-11 academic year.
Teams within the Albany Journal coverage area are in BOLD type.
REGION 1-AAAA: Bainbridge, Hardaway (Columbus), Houston County, Lee County, Northside (Columbus), Northside (Warner Robins), Thomas County Central, and Warner Robins
Analysis: Westside (Macon) may have dropped to Class AAA, but the addition of the Warner Robins area programs, as well as having perennial southwest Georgia powers such as Bainbridge and Thomas County Central, makes Lee County’s path to postseason play that much tougher. If there’s an upside to this new alignment, it’s that Harris County won the right to move to Region 3 from Region 1.
REGION 1-AAA: Americus-Sumter, Cairo, Crisp County, Dougherty, Monroe, Westover, and Worth County.
Analysis: The respective moves of Peach County and Perry into the middle Georgia-based Region 2 paved the way for Region 1 to return to an all-southwest Georgia circuit. Dougherty remains in Class AAA despite having an enrollment that puts the east Albany school in Class AA. Still, having a perennial power like Cairo — one year removed from winning a state football championship — makes for a very tough region for Albany’s “big three” schools to navigate through as far as the playoffs go.
REGION 1-AA: Albany, Berrien, Brooks County, Cook, Early County, Fitzgerald, and Thomasville
Analysis: Aside from Mitchell County dropping to Class A, there’s really not much change in Region 1-AA.
For more on GHSA reclassification, go to http://www.ghsa.net, and download the “GHSA Region Alignments” sheets for 2010. The reclassification committee will meet in Forsyth on Tuesday to formally vote on the proposed regions. At that time, it could also vote on whether or not the re-classification cycle should revert from four years to two years.
By Walter L. Johnson II