No surprise here

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 18, 2011

I hate to gloat when I’m right, but I just can’t help it.

The Alabama High School Athletic Association released its reclassification realignments Wednesday, and every shift or change came at no surprise to a colleague and myself.

People kept asking me where do you think local teams will end up, and if they had read an article I wrote in early October, then they’d have a good idea.

One Friday afternoon when football season was still a go in the county, my colleague put a story idea across my desk that I thought, at first, was a little weird given that it didn’t really pertain to sports.

Twenty days after the labor day holiday, school systems account for what they call enrollment numbers.

Every two years, the AHSAA uses these enrollment numbers for grades 10-12 at high schools in classifications 1A-6A, and the addition of member schools in sports, to decide on new reclassification realignments, like it did on Wednesday when the Central Board of Control met.

From Thursday’s article about the reclassification shake-up, Straughn and Red Level dropped one classification because of a drop in enrollment numbers. Andalusia and Opp stayed in their respective classification, but switched regions.

Now RLS, Pleasant Home and Florala will compete against each other for region dominance in Class 1A, Region 2; Opp and Straughn will compete in Class 3A, Region 1; and Andalusia will be going back to what is known as the “western” region in Region 1 with the Thomasvilles and UMS-Wrights of 4A.

Out of all of this, I have but one question.

What will this do to the toxicity of the Andalusia-Straughn rivalry? Or the Straughn-Opp rivalry? Or the Red Level-McKenzie, Pleasant Home-Florala rivalries?

Since Straughn’s football team is no longer in Andalusia’s region, the Tigers will probably have to go back to facing the Bulldogs in a season-opening contest.

The rivalry between Straughn and Opp will increase because both will vie for a top seed in the region.

Red Level’s old rivalry with McKenzie will be renewed once more, and the Eagles vs. Wildcats match up will continue to thrill their closest fans for the next two years.

The next realignment reclassification will take place in November 2013.

Maybe by then, I’ll stop gloating.