AHSAA adds 7th class; Straughn moves up to 4A

Published 11:40am Wednesday, January 22, 2014

UPDATE: Coaches may have to wait a little longer to see where their teams fall in the new realignment reclassification after Houston Academy filed a grievance with the Alabama High School Athletic Association this afternoon, Andalusia coach Brian Seymore said.

Seymore said HA filed the agrievance because incorrect enrollment numbers were released to the State Board of Education.

Earlier today, the AHSAA’s Central Board of Control approved a proposal to add a seventh classification for championship play at its winter meeting for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.

HA’s recent enrollment numbers indicate that the Dothan private school has 263.25 students in grades 10-12. The increase in the number of students bumped the school up to Class 3A after today’s vote.

As a result of the grievance filed, it could change some school’s classification and alignment for the next two years. The board still has to vote on the grievance.

Seymore, who heard of the news about HA approximately two hours ago, said this happened two years ago when Pope John Paul II’s numbers were incorrect, which sent the Bulldogs back to Region 1 from 2. AHS was put back in Region 2 after the board’s meeting today.

“You play where the state puts you,” Seymore said. “Whether we’ll stay the same, or we’ll go to Region 1 like we did two years ago when they didn’t count Pope John Paul II in Huntsville. It happens. They’ll have to make some adjustments.”

Seymore said more than likely, Escambia County will drop back down to 4A from 5A, and W.S. Neal will go back down to 3A. Straughn, now a Class 4A team, will not be affected, but will have to reschedule its annual meeting with AHS.

More updates will be posted here as this story unfolds, and check out tomorrow’s paper for an update.

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The waiting game is finally over.

The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control approved a proposal to add a seventh classification for championship play beginning with the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years this morning, ending months of guess work as to what the meeting result will be.

This new seven-class system is being adopted for all sports.

The action came during the board’s winter meeting at the AHSAA Office. The reclassification is conducted every two years and is based on the average daily enrollment numbers provided by the State Board of Education. Member private schools supply the same enrollment information for their schools or school systems, according to a release.

According to a press release from the AHSAA, the new seven-classification football alignment places the 32 largest high schools in the new Class 7A. the remaining six are divided as “equally as possible” with 60 schools in 6A, 61 in 5A, 60 in 4A, 60 in 3A, 58 in 2A and 58 in 1A.

As a result of today’s decision, Straughn jumped up to Class 4A and will be in the same region with Andalusia, who didn’t change classification.

The Bulldogs and Tigers are now in Region 2 with Ashford, Bullock County, Headland, Montgomery Catholic, Saint James and Trinity Presbyterian.

The last time AHS and SHS were in the same classification was a few years back.

Opp wasn’t affected by the vote, and remains in Class 3A, Region 1 in a seven-team region with Bayside Academy, Cottage Hill, Excel, Geneva, Hillcrest-Evergreen and T.R. Miller.

In Class 1A, Pleasant Home, Florala and Red Level didn’t move in either classification or region.

For reaction from today’s decision, see tomorrow’s sports section of The Star-News.

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