By: Kipp Branch
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
It has been an interesting few weeks in the Georgia High School Association.
The GHSA assigned classifications for the 2022/2023 and 2023/2024 athletic seasons in early November.
After the classifications were revealed then schools around the state had the opportunity to appeal their placement. Below are the GHSA rulings on the various appeals filed.
From 7A to 6A:
Won – Arabia Mountain, East Paulding*, Etowah, Rockdale County, St. Pius, Woodward Academy
Lost – Camden County, Carrollton, Kennesaw Mountain, Richmond Hill
From 6A to 5A:
Won: Cartersville*, Chapel Hill, KIPP Atlanta Collegiate
Lost: Blessed Trinity, Marist, New Manchester
From 6A to 4A:
Lost: Thomas County Central
From 5A to 4A:
Won: Perry, Riverdale, Starr’s Mill, Walnut Grove, Whitewater*
Lost: Calhoun, Flowery Branch, Greater Atlanta Christian, Jefferson, Jenkins
From 4A to 3A:
Won: Central-Macon, Cross Creek, Johnson-Savannah, Pickens*, Richmond Academy, Ridgeland, Sonoraville*, West Hall
From 4A to 2A:
From 3A to 2A:
Won: East Jackson*, Therrell
Lost: Bremen, Thomasville, Vidalia
From 2A to A:
Won: Bryan County
Lost: Social Circle
*Six schools were allowed to move down without appealing to accommodate schools below that won petitions to move up.
Schools petitioning to play up:
All won except Fellowship Christian, which must remain in Class A Private.
6A: Jackson County
4A: Holy Innocents’, Pace Academy, Trinity Christian
3A: Savannah, Woodville-Tompkins
2A: Aquinas, B.E.S.T. Academy, Coretta Scott King, Davidson Fine Arts, Elite Scholars, Johnson-Augusta, Technical Career Magnet
In coastal Georgia both Camden County and Richmond Hill lost their appeal to play in the 6A classification and will be forced to play in their correct classification on 7A.
The GHSA basically had their hands tied on this one. By granting an appeal to Camden and Richmond Hill the state would have been left with a three team 7A region in South Georgia. Under current playoff guidelines the top 4 teams in each region make the playoffs in each sport.
Region 1 AAAAAAA will look like this next year: Camden County, Colquitt County, Lowndes County, Richmond Hill and Valdosta.
This will be a brutal football region. Camden is rebuilding their football program and under Jeff Herron should be in the hunt for a region title in 2022.
Richmond Hill could struggle in this region in football, but will be very competitive in both basketball and baseball in their new region.
Region 1 will be the only 7A region in all of South Georgia. Richmond Hill had 7A numbers during the last cycle but appealed under the isolation rule and was allowed to play down in 6A.
Tift County dropped to 6A for the 22-23 seasons, which left old region 1 with 3 teams. With Valdosta moving back up into 7A, the GHSA could not grant appeals to both Camden and Richmond Hill so the GHSA denied their isolation appeals and will require them to play in the 7A classification.
In 6A The Coastal Georgia region will look like this: Brunswick, Effingham County, Glynn Academy, and South Effingham.
The GHSA will probably add three Augusta area schools of Grovetown, Evans, and Lakeside Evans to create a 7-team region.
With Richmond Hill moving up a class and Bradwell and Statesboro dropping to 5A, adding the Augusta schools replaces the three teams lost.
Wayne County who finished the season at 0-9 will drop down to 4A.
Benedictine will move up to 5A. Brantley County will drop to 2A. MCA will stay 1A. Ware County and Coffee County will stay in 5A.
Stay tuned for region placements coming in the near future where everyone will learn who they will compete against for the next couple of years.