Greenbrier High School Athletic Director Garrett Black, a member of the GHSA’s Executive Committee, said the six-classification system was the best way to both maintain parity and deal with geography concerns.
“It was a long process,” said Black, who is also the head softball coach at the school. “There were a lot of different opinions on how we should go about reclassification. To be honest with you, there is no perfect plan that is going to just make everybody happy.”
Many area schools could be in different classifications next school year.
Evans, Lakeside, Greenbrier and Grovetown were placed in Class AAAAA. Fellow Columbia County school Harlem was moved down one class to AA.
As for other local schools, Burke County, Cross Creek, Hephzibah and Richmond Academy are in AAAA.
In AAA, Butler, Glenn Hills, Thomson and Washington County stay put, but Jefferson County and Swainsboro come from AA.
Class AA is busier, with Harlem, Josey and Westside tentatively scheduled to go down from AAA, joining current AA schools Laney and Screven County. Washington-Wilkes jumps up a class.
“That’s something we had kind of hoped for,” Westside football coach Steve Hibbitts said about possibly moving down to AA. “There are competitive teams everywhere. I just think numbers-wise it helps us. There are still going to be great teams there.”
Finally, Aquinas, A.R. Johnson, Davidson Fine Arts, Glascock County, Lincoln County and Warren County are in Class A.
After the deadline to request to move up passes, the Reclassification Committee will place schools in regions on Dec. 6. Appeals of “lateral transfers” will then be heard on Dec. 19 before the reclassification is ratified on Jan. 10.