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AHSAA announces new regions

By Staff
Kim West
Franklin County Times
Schools in the Alabama High School Athletic Association have received their region assignments for 2008-10, according to a Monday release from the AHSAA.
The AHSAA, with the approval of its Central Board of Controls, reclassifies its member schools every two years based on several factors, including changing enrollments, school consolidations and closings, new schools and association members and current member schools adding sports to their interscholastic program.
During the 2007 season, five Franklin County schools fielded football teams, including Russellville, Phil Campbell, Red Bay, Tharptown and Vina. Tharptown started its program in 2006 and will play its first region schedule next season, which makes the Wildcats eligible for the state playoffs. All five schools will compete in Region 8.
Classification was based on the Average Daily Membership figures provided by the State Department of Education for the upper three grades (10-12), plus ninth-grade holdbacks. An index of 1.35 was used to determine the enrollment figure for classifying each private school member. Each private school student counts 1.35 for classification purposes.
Alignments are made for each sport in each classification, based on the number of schools participating in a sport. Some programs such as cross-country and soccer include two or more classes in a division.
The current two-year classification period ends with the 2007-08 school year. The new alignments will go into effect in the fall of 2008.
In the football alignment, where travel is a major factor, regions include groupings of seven, eight or nine teams. Regions with seven or eight teams will leave weeks 1, 5 and 10 open for non-region games and schedule their six region games over the other seven weeks. Regions with nine teams will leave Week 10 open and draw for the other week to leave open for non-region games. Each team will have eight weeks to schedule its region games.
Tharptown and Vina will play in Class 1A, Region 8, which expanded from eight teams in 2005-07 to nine teams for 2008-10. Their region includes Hazelwood, R.A. Hubbard, Phillips, Shoals Christian, Speake, plus newcomers Waterloo and Mount Hope. Former Region 8 teams Brilliant and Hackleburg have been moved to Region 7 in Class 1A.
Phil Campbell and Red Bay will compete in Class 2A, Region 8, which remains an eight-team region. Their region includes Cherokee, Tanner and Hatton, plus former Class 3A, Region 8 teams Clements and Lexington and Westminster Christian, which moved from Class 2A, Region 6. Former rivals West Morgan (Class 3A, Region 8), Addison (Class 1A, Region 7) and Winston County (Class 2A, Region 7) all received new region assignments.
Russellville will stay in Class 5A, Region 8, which is also an eight-team region. Archrival Decatur will move up to Class 6A, Region 8, while West Point dropped to Class 4A, Region 5. Brewer will remain in Class 5A, but was re-assigned to Region 5. The Golden Tigers' Region 8 will include familiar opponents Athens, Hartselle, J.O. Johnson and Muscle Shoals, plus former Class 5A, Region 7 teams Butler and Lee-Huntsville and Class 4A, Region 7 power East Limestone.