The Georgia High School Association reclassification committee released the new region alignments for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 school years last week. If not satisfied with their placement, schools are allowed thirty days to appeal for a region change within the same classification.
There appears to be no more than the usual amount of what might be called "interesting" changes in this reclassification cycle. Locally, Thomson High will remain in basically the same region with only four changes. Change number one will be the new region will be identified as 2-AAA rather than 3-AAA. The GHSA switched numbers with the Columbus area region. The premise could have been as simple as change is always good. Who knows?
The one addition to the region will be Washington County High School in Sandersville. They will be moving from region 4-AAA. The Golden Hawks are currently competing in a region with middle Georgia schools. Only time will tell if Washington County appeals to return to 4-AAA.
Two deletions from the current Region 3-AAA will be Jefferson County and Richmond Academy which leaves Thomson grouped with Butler, Cross Creek, Davidson, Glenn Hills, Harlem and Washington County in 2-AAA, Division B. Division A will be Benedictine, Burke County, Hephzibah, Liberty County, Richmond Hill, St. Vincent's and South Effingham.
Jefferson County is dropping a classification into a very new looking Region 3-AA. They will be joining current 3-AA members Metter, Screven County, Southeast Bulloch and Swainsboro along with current 7-AA members from Augusta, Josey, Laney and Westside.
Richmond Academy will be moving into a region even more geographically stretched than Thomson's. Region 2-AAAA will stretch from Augusta to the marshes of Glynn on the coast over to the Okefenokee Swamp and back to the banks of the central Altamaha River. The Musketeers will be grouped locally in a sub-region with Evans, Greenbrier, Lakeside and Statesboro and joined by Brunswick, Effingham County, Glynn Academy, Ware County and Wayne County from the south.
Already a football creampuff in Class AAA, Richmond Academy's gridiron fortunes will likely become even bleaker, if that is possible, in the larger classification. Hopefully for the sake of the kids in the school they can be competitive in the other sports. Apparently ARC has experienced an influx of new students, as they were previously a smaller school than Butler, Cross Creek, Glenn Hills, Hephzibah and Thomson who all will remain in AAA.
Washington-Wilkes will also be moving up a classification into Region 8-AA. They will join area schools Greene County, Morgan County, North Oconee, Oglethorpe County, Putnam County and mountain schools Banks County, Dawson County, Fannin County, Rabun County and Union County.
Lincoln County (7-A) will see Monticello drop from AA into their region and Twiggs County and Wilkinson County shift from Region 4-A into 7-A. These additions will more than offset the loss of Washington-Wilkes.
Again these changes are pending any possible appeals and will not take effect until the 2006-07 school year. Thomson will still compete in Region 3-AAA during the upcoming 2005-06 school year against the same teams as last year.