clear
Sunday May 29th, 2016 11:44AM

GHSA releases new regions: Some big changes in store

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
Region 8-AAAA may well become the beast of the northeast.

The Georgia High School Association released its new region alignments for the 2014-16 school years today, and there were plenty of changes for the area's schools, including a Region 8-AAAA line-up that could prove brutal.

The GHSA's member schools still have until Dec. 13 at noon to appeal for a lateral transfer within their classifications -- but those appeals have rarely been approved in the past, making for an interesting two years ahead.

"There were some tough decisions made down there (in Thomaston) today," Buford athletic director and GHSA Executive Committee member Dexter Wood said. "But we have a strong reclassification committee, and they'll listen to anyone who has a strong case. Of course it's tough because they have to do what's best not just for one school but for an entire region."

Wood's Buford will be just part of a new 8-AAAA that will consist of (in alphabetical order) Buford, Chestatee, Johnson, Madison County, Monroe Area, North Hall, North Oconee, Stephens County, Walnut Grove and White County. Seven of those schools reached the football state playoffs this season in their current region set-ups. Also within that region are the reigning Class AAA softball champ (Buford), two state semifinalists in basketball from a season ago (Buford and North Hall boys), as well as a state finalist in baseball (North Hall) and a state semifinalist in girls soccer (Buford).

"This new region has a lot of schools with a rich athletic tradition, and it's going to be competitive in every sport," Wood said. "That's what you expect when you move up in classification (Buford is currently a a member of Region 7-AAA), and that's what we're excited about."

The shifts in 8-AAAA were just a few of many. Here is a look at some of the other changes involving area schools:

-- Habersham Central will move from Region 7-AAAAAA to Region 6-AAAAAA, shifting from a Gwinnett County-based region to a Forsyth County/north Fulton County-based region.

-- Region 8-AAAAA added Lanier (the only change to the current set-up).

-- Region 7-AAA added Lumpkin County and Franklin County after losing Buford, North Hall and White County.

-- Region 8-AAA will consist of three schools in Jackson County (including Jefferson).

-- Region 8-AA's only change is the loss of Jefferson.

-- Region 8-A's only change is the loss of Pincecrest Academy (moved to Region 6-A).

North Forsyth athletic director and GHSA Executive Committee member Nathan Turner said they are glad to welcome Habersham Central to 6-AAAAAA and felt that the GHSA provided the best region alignments possible under the circumstances.

"The big surprise was all the Class AAAA schools asking to move up," said Turner in reference to the fact that 10 Class AAAA schools asked to play up in Class AAAAA, making it the second largest classification (88 schools) behind the 100 schools in Class A. "We're excited about having Habersham; we think they will be a great representative in our region."

Class AAAAA now features one region -- 6-AAAAA -- that will harbor 17 schools.

"It's so challeging now because of the growth of the number of schools in metro Atlanta," Wood said. "Traditionally, the state has been divided into four regions in north Georgia and four in south Georgia, and you really can't do that anymore. There are some schools in south Georgia that are getting isolated, and that makes it very hard."

Appeals made will be heard by the GHSA's reclassification committee on Dec. 17. The final ratification and acceptance of the new regions by the Executive Committee will take place on Jan. 14 in Macon.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 2 years ago )
Gator Bowl Preview Capsule
A rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which Georgia won 45-31 in Orlando.
8:52PM ( 2 years ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 2 years ago )
Sports
Big Red Shootout: Buford foils Lady Elephants' upset bid in finale
Buford junior Camille Anderson knows to forget about the past during games.
11:09PM ( 2 years ago )
Boys basketball: Knights rebound with win over Centennial
The Johnson boys bounced back after a loss to Grayson on Friday with a 94-72 win Saturday night over Centennial in the Duluth Jingle Jam.
10:43PM ( 2 years ago )
Girls basketball: Dawson falls in Battle of States finals
Dawson County fell behind early and could not complete the comeback in a 70-65 loss to Hayesville, N.C. in the championship game of The Battle of the States Tournament Saturday night.
10:38PM ( 2 years ago )
High School Sports
Snelling to make curtain call at East-West Classic (Video)
Ask Walt Snelling about Gainesville football and you will be supplied with a litany of great players and games from a program with an illustrious history.
7:33PM ( 2 years ago )
High School football 2013: Superlatives abound after another special season
After letting it soak in for a few days we
7:42PM ( 2 years ago )
Friday Game Night
Baseball: Panthers, Dragons dominate Region 8-AAA All-Region selections
Region 8-AAA continued to be a major player in Class AAA in 2016 with Jackson County getting within one win of the state championship round.
9:23AM ( 2 hours ago )
Golf: Ralston, Forrester amongst 11 area golfers named All-State
Gainesville's Spencer Ralston was named Class AAAAA boys player of the year, while North Hall's Bartley Forrester was named first team for Class AAAA boys in the 2016 Georgia High School Golf Coaches Association (GHSGCA) All-State team released this week.
By AccessWDUN Staff
9:01AM ( 2 hours ago )
The hype is back at Indy and everyone wants to win the 100th
Tony Kanaan spent the final practice before the Indianapolis 500 talking to the race track. He wanted to be kind to the old lady, to land in her good graces before the historic 100th running of "The Greatest Spectacle In Racing."
By The Associated Press
9:00AM ( 2 hours ago )
Baseball: 2016 Region 7-AAA All-Region team
After a rebounding season for Region 7-AAA as a whole, the 2016 Region 7-AAA All-Region baseball team was released on Friday.
8:10AM ( 3 hours ago )
Martin: NASCAR HOF class features close connections
For Mark Martin, election to the NASCAR Hall of Fame was an unexpected honor, and it’s just coincidence that the 40-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race-winner has such strong simpatico with his fellow 2017 class members.
By Reid Spencer-NASCAR Wire Service
8:00AM ( 3 hours ago )