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Reclassification to renew old rivalries and create new ones

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

COVINGTON -- The decisions of the Georgia High School Association will soon be felt as the new regions were recently set.

Even though there is still time for schools to try to make lateral moves, from one region to another region in the same classification, it does not appear that schools are trying to move in or out of the regions.

While everyone has been affected by the reclassification, it appears that no one is being more affected than Alcovy and Rockdale.

Alcovy and Rockdale will now join Newton in Region 2-AAAAAA. Also in the region are Luella, Druid Hills, Lovejoy and Morrow.

Not only are they being moved into a new region, they are also being moved up two classes from AAAA to the new AAAAAA.

"Moving up two classes, that's something that is out of the coaches control. For me, I don't worry about those things. Georgia High School is going to put you where they want. It's almost like playing cards, those cards are dealt to you and you can't change them. You can't worry about what you can't change," Alcovy head football coach Kirk Hoffman said. "We're excited about being in this region and getting to play Rockdale and Luella and some of those guys."

New to the teams from the old Region 8-AAAA to the new Region 8-AAAAA is Gainesville with Heritage, Salem, Apalachee, Flowery Branch, Winder-Barrow, Cedar Shoals, Clarke Central and Loganville all moving together to form the new region.

Even though Rockdale did not make the move, the three Rockdale schools will maintain their inner-county games.

"We feel like Gainesville coming is a great addition. It's a real competitive league. With eight schools still staying in it; when get used to playing the same schools it's fun to play those guys," Heritage athletic director Chuck Landy said.

Eastside is moving up from Region 4-AAA to Region 8-AAAA. The move for the Eagles means that they have the chance to renew their Region 8-AAA rivalries from two years ago with Stephens County.

Also in the Region 8-AAAA are Lanier, Monroe Area, Walnut Grove, Chestatee, Johnson-Gainesville. Lumpkin County and Madison County.

While moving regions is not new for Alcovy, who has been in three different region in its six years, Hoffman likes this region.

"For the first time we're going to be close to everybody. The first six years we've been here we've done some traveling to Habersham, close to North Carolina, to near Alabama with Harris County. Everything being closer should help," Hoffman said.

The other move made by the GHSA is to automatically divided the regions into two subregions. However, that does not mean that every sport plays in the subregions.

"The divisions were really done mainly for a lot of the other sports that play at least two times a week and travel during school nights. Some of these regions are so spread out that they subdivided them all. Then the regions have the choice to play subregion schedules or region schedules, it's up to them," Landy said.

While football will not feel the subregion decision, it will be felt more by basketball and baseball.

Another coach that is glad for the new regions is Heritage head coach Chad Frazier. Instead of playing a full region schedule, the Patriots coaches now have a couple of games to see at how different players look in various positions and which plays work or need more work.

"Coach Frazier and I were talking about it and it'll be an advantage because you have a couple of games early in the year so we can schedule games we want to play. When you jump right into it in week one as a region game it does put a lot of pressure on you to come out and play well early," Landy said. "Not that you don't want to do that anyway, it allows you some flexibility."

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Comments

pt3000 2 years, 11 months ago

Eastside and Stephens County rivalry, are you serious, the oldest rivalry in the area between Newton and Rockdale is being renewed and this paper wants to boast about Eastside and Stephens County.

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pt3000 2 years, 11 months ago

The oldest rivalry in the area is being renewed between Newton and Rockdale but yet this paper wants to bring up Eastside and Stephens County, are they serious.

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