10 schools affected by GHSA reclassification

GHSA puts schools in regions for 2020-21

The Georgia High School Association placed its 468 member schools into regions for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years on Tuesday after hearing requests to move up and appeals to move down in classification.

The GHSA’s reclassification committee blocked five schools with Class A enrollment from moving into Class AA. The committee also let Dacula, Greater Atlanta Christian and St. Pius enter classes lower than originally classified but denied bids by Calhoun, Woodward Academy and Blessed Trinity to do the same.

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As planned, the GHSA split Class A into public- and private-school divisions, each with eight regions. Class A Private has only 40 football-playing schools, 32 that will make the playoffs. The small numbers resulted in three four-team regions.

The reclass committee will meet again next Tuesday to hear requests to change regions within the same class and to hear appeals of schools that were denied their requests to move up.

Class AA schools breathed sighs of relief when the GHSA denied the requests of Christian Heritage, Darlington, Holy Innocents’, Pace Academy and Wesleyan to move up.

Denials of play-up requests are extremely rare if not unprecedented, but they were applauded by AA members, who will have easier paths to state championships.

The five schools that appealed to move into AA won 10 state titles in 2018-19. All five have been in the top 10 of the football rankings at some point this season.

» MORE: Understanding GHSA’s multiplier rule

The only private schools that have competed in AA the past four seasons are Benedictine, which moved to AAA in 2018, and St. Vincent’s, a Savannah girls school that has won five state titles in that time.

Lovett, currently a AAA private school, and Riverside Military, currently Class A, will be the only private schools in AA for 2020-21. They were placed there based on enrollment.

Dacula, the school with the No. 1-ranked football team in AAAAAA, won an appeal that will prevent it from moving up to the highest classification in 2020-21. So did Richmond Hill, which faced the prospect of joining Lowndes and Colquitt County in Region 1-AAAAAAA but got to stay put.

St. Pius and Greater Atlanta Christian also won reclassification victories.

But Blessed Trinity, Calhoun, Starr’s Mill and Woodward Academy were not so fortunate. They remain assigned to Class AAAAA. Woodard and Blessed Trinity each lost by votes of 9-7.

For Calhoun, that’s a two-class bump from its current AAA. Woodward and Blessed Trinity are moving up one class. Rutland of Macon also lost its appeal and must compete in AAA.

Fourteen schools won appeals to play lower than originally placed. St. Pius now is slated for AAAAA while GAC is pegged for AAA.

Other schools allowed to compete lower than originally classified are Bryan County (approved for Class A), Central of Macon (AAA), Chamblee (AAAAA), Druid Hills (AAAA), KIPP Atlanta (AA), North Springs (AAAAA), Richmond Academy (AAA), Screven County (A), Social Circle (A) and Westover (AAAA).

Winning an appeal typically requires that a school show proof that its enrollment or out-of-zone numbers are inaccurate, deceiving or produce no competitive advantage. Richmond Hill made a case based on isolation. Richmond Hill is an average of 155 miles from the current members of 1-AAAAAAA, its likely region.

Below are the GHSA’s proposed regions. Class A schools that do not play football have not yet been placed in regions.

Class AAAAAAA

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Region 1

Camden County
Colquitt County
Lowndes
Tift County

Region 2

Campbell
East Coweta
McEachern
Newnan
Pebblebrook

Region 3

Harrison
Hillgrove
Marietta
North Cobb
North Paulding
Walton

Region 4

Brookwood
Grayson
Newton
Parkview
Shiloh
South Gwinnett

Region 5

Alpharetta
Cherokee
Etowah
Milton
Roswell
Woodstock

Region 6

Forsyth Central
Gainesville
Lambert
North Forsyth
South Forsyth
West Forsyth

Region 7

Archer
Berkmar
Discovery
Dunwoody
Meadowcreek
Norcross

Region 8

Collins Hill
Duluth
Mill Creek
Mountain View
North Gwinnett
Peachtree Ridge

Class AAAAAA

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Region 1

Houston County
Lee County
Northside (Warner Robins)
Valdosta

Region 2

Bradwell Institute
Brunswick
Effingham County
Glynn Academy
Richmond Hill
South Effingham
Statesboro

Region 3

Alcovy
Evans
Grovetown
Heritage (Conyers)
Lakeside (Evans)
Rockdale County

Region 4

Hughes
Lakeside (Atlanta)
Lovejoy
Morrow
North Atlanta
Tucker
Westlake

Region 5

Alexander
Carrollton
Dalton
Douglas County
East Paulding
Paulding County
Rome
South Paulding

Region 6

Allatoona
Kell
Kennesaw Mountain
Lassiter
Osborne
Pope
South Cobb
Sprayberry
Wheeler

Region 7

Cambridge
Centennial
Chattahoochee
Creekview
Johns Creek
River Ridge
Riverwood
Sequoyah

Region 8

Buford
Central Gwinnett
Dacula
Denmark
Habersham Central
Lanier
Winder-Barrow

Class AAAAA

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Region 1

Coffee
Veterans
Ware County
Warner Robins
Wayne County

Region 2

Griffin
Harris County
McIntosh
Northgate
Northside (Columbus)
Starr’s Mill
Whitewater

Region 3

Banneker
Creekside
Drew
Forest Park
Jonesboro
Mundy’s Mill
Tri-Cities
Woodward Academy

Region 4

Dutchtown
Eagle’s Landing
Jones County
Locust Grove
Ola
Stockbridge
Union Grove
Woodland (Stockbridge)

Region 5

Chamblee
Clarkston
Cross Keys
Decatur
Lithonia
M.L. King
Southwest DeKalb
St. Pius
Stone Mountain

Region 6

Chapel Hill
Grady
Jackson, Atlanta
Lithia Springs
New Manchester
North Springs
Villa Rica

Region 7

Blessed Trinity
Calhoun
Cartersville
Cass
Hiram
Northview
Woodland (Cartersville)

Region 8

Apalachee
Clarke Central
Eastside
Greenbrier
Jackson County
Johnson, Gainesville
Loganville
Walnut Grove

Class AAAA

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Region 1

Bainbridge
Cairo
Dougherty
Monroe
Thomas County Central
Westover

Region 2

Carver (Columbus)
Columbus
Hardaway
Jordan
Kendrick
LaGrange
Shaw
Spencer
Troup

Region 3

Benedictine
Burke County
Islands
Jenkins
New Hampstead

Region 4

Baldwin
Howard
Perry
Spalding
West Laurens

Region 5

Fayette County
Hampton
Luella
McDonough
Mount Zion (Jonesboro)
North Clayton
Riverdale

Region 6

Arabia Mountain
Druid Hills
Hapeville Charter
Marist
Mays
Miller Grove
Stephenson

Region 7

Cedartown
Central (Carrollton)
Heritage (Ringgold)
Northwest Whitfield
Pickens
Ridgeland
Southeast Whitfield

Region 8

Cedar Shoals
Chestatee
East Hall
Flowery Branch
Jefferson
Madison County
North Oconee

Class AAA

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Region 1

Appling County
Brantley County
Liberty County
Long County
Pierce County
Tattnall County

Region 2

Americus-Sumter
Central (Macon)
Crisp County
Jackson
Mary Persons
Peach County
Pike County
Rutland
Upson-Lee
Westside (Macon)

Region 3

Beach
Groves
Johnson (Savannah)
Savannah
Savannah Arts Academy
Southeast Bulloch
Windsor Forest

Region 4

Cross Creek
Harlem
Hephzibah
Morgan County
Richmond Academy
Thomson
Westside (Augusta)

Region 5

Carver (Atlanta)
Cedar Grove
Douglass
GAC
Redan
Salem
Sandy Creek
Westminster

Region 6

Adairsville
Coahulla Creek
LaFayette
Lakeview-Ft. Ogle.
Murray County
North Murray
Ringgold
Rockmart
Sonoraville

Region 7

Cherokee Bluff
Dawson County
Gilmer
Lumpkin County
North Hall
West Hall
White County

Region 8

East Jackson
Franklin County
Hart County
Monroe Area
Oconee County
Stephens County

Class AA

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Region 1

Berrien
Cook
Early County
Fitzgerald
Thomasville
Worth County

Region 2

Bacon County
East Laurens
Jeff Davis
Swainsboro
Toombs County
Vidalia
Woodville-Tompkins

Region 3

Bleckley County
Dodge County
Lamar County
Monticello
Northeast
Southwest
Washington County

Region 4

Butler
Glenn Hills
Jefferson County
Josey
Laney
Putnam County

Region 5

Bremen
Callaway
Haralson County
Heard County
Temple

Region 6

Columbia
KIPP Atlanta Collegiate
Lovett
McNair
South Atlanta
Stillwell Arts
Therrell
Towers
Washington

Region 7

Chattooga
Coosa
Dade County
Gordon Central
Model
Pepperell

Region 8

Banks County
Elbert County
Fannin County
Oglethorpe County
Rabun County
Riverside Military
Union County

Class A-Private

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Region 1

Deerfield-Windsor
First Presbyterian
Mount de Sales
Stratford Academy
Strong Rock Christian
Tattnall Square

Region 2

ELCA
Landmark Christian
Our Lady of Mercy
Whitefield Academy

Region 3

Aquinas
Calvary Day
Savannah Christian
Savannah Country Day

Region 4

Brookstone
Heritage (Newnan)
Pacelli
Trinity Christian

Region 5

Hebron Christian
Holy Innocents’
Mt. Pisgah Christian
Mount Vernon
Pace Academy
Providence Christian
Wesleyan

Region 6

Fellowship Christian
King’s Ridge Christian
Lakeview Academy
Pinecrest Academy
St. Francis

Region 7

Christian Heritage
Darlington
Mt. Paran Christian
North Cobb Christian
Walker

Region 8

Athens Academy
Athens Christian
George Walton
Loganville Christian
Prince Avenue

Class A-Public

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Region 1

Baconton Charter
Brooks County
Calhoun County
Miller County
Mitchell County
Pataula Charter
Pelham
Randolph-Clay
Seminole County
Terrell County

Region 2

Atkinson County
Charlton County
Clinch County
Irwin County
Lanier County
McIntosh County Academy
Turner County

Region 3

Bryan County
Claxton
Emanuel County Institute
Jenkins County
Johnson County
Metter
Montgomery County
Portal
Screven County
Treutlen

Region 4

Dooly County
Dublin
Hawkinsville
Telfair County
Twiggs County
Wheeler County
Wilcox County

Region 5

Central (Talbotton)
Chattahoochee County
Greenville
Macon County
Manchester
Marion County
Schley County
Stewart County
Taylor County

Region 6

Armuchee
B.E.S.T. Academy
Bowdon
Gordon Lee
Mount Zion (Carroll)
Trion

Region 7

ACE Charter
Crawford County
Georgia Military
Glascock County
Hancock Central
Wilkinson County

Region 8

Commerce
Greene County
Lincoln County
Social Circle
Towns County
Warren County
Washington-Wilkes

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