GHSA to vote on 3A/A private division Monday

Plan would have smaller public, private schools playing for separate championships

Private schools in classes 3A-A will be playing for state championships separate from public schools beginning in 2024-25 if the Georgia High School Association’s executive committee approves the plan Monday in Macon.

The GHSA’s reclassification committee voted 12-2 on Sunday to recommend the plan to the 75-member executive committee, which can make it official.

The plan would keep private and public schools together in region play during the regular season but separate them for the playoffs. Power ratings would seed the playoffs for public and private schools.

The public schools would have championships in 3A, 2A, A Division I and A Division II. Private schools would have a single championship in 3A-A.

A 3A/A division would resemble the old Class A model that existed from 2012-13 to 2019-20, when publics and privates were together for region play but separated for the playoffs.

The 3A/A might also take in some larger schools if Class 4A members such as Westminster and Lovett fall back into 3A when new enrollment figures come in. There currently are 23 football-playing private schools in 3A to A.

In 2022-23, private schools won 39 of the 78 state championships contented in classes 3A to A despite the overwhelming majority of schools in those classes being public. When confined to Class A Private the previous academic year, the private schools won only 17 state titles.

Voting against the 3A/A proposal Sunday were Kevin Petroski of Athens Academy and Richard Ricketts of Prince Avenue Christian. They are athletic directors at private schools.

The reclass committee voted 14-0 to study a competitive-balance model, supported by many private schools, that would classify individual teams or schools based on their track record and not just enrollment. That would not be viable until 2026 at the earliest.

The committee also voted 14-0 to require that future reclass proposals be submitted to the GHSA office seven days before any reclass committee meeting. The 3A/A private plan was presented Thursday for the first time.