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Reclassification leaves Franklin schools in place

The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control has unanimously approved the current seven-classification system for championship play for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years. The seven-class system, which began in 2014-15, was approved once again for all sports.

The board held its vote Dec. 14.

In accordance with the AHSAA constitution and by-laws, the AHSAA Central Board of Control manages championship play and classification. Member schools are reclassified every two years. High schools are currently divided into seven classifications – 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A and 7A – for competition in championship programs.

Classification is based on average daily membership figures furnished by the state Department of Education for public schools, grades nine through 11 plus eighth-grade hold-back students.

In Franklin County, Russellville is inching closer to Class 6A. In the 2020-22 classification the Golden Tigers were the 15th largest 5A school; in the new classifications, they moved up a few spots to 11.

Phil Campbell remains in Class 3A. The Bobcats have moved up slightly in Class 3A from 34th to 28th biggest 3A school.

Red Bay and Tharptown remain in Class 2A, but from a numbers perspective, the two schools have reversed places. Red Bay has dropped from the 14th largest 2A school all the way to 43rd place. Tharptown, on the other hand, has vaulted from the 47th 2A school in 2020 to 23rd.

It is looking more and more likely that the Wildcats could land in Class 3A in the near future.

Vina was the 14th smallest school in the Class 1A in 2020, moving up to the seventh smallest school in the state in 2022. Belgreen was the 11th largest Class 1A school in the state in 2020. The Bulldogs were not listed in the overall classification since they do not have a football program.

Member private schools also report the same average daily membership data directly to the AHSAA, and an index of 1.35 is used to determine the enrollment figure for classifying private school members – that is, each private school student counts 1.35 for classification purposes.

A competitive balance success factor is also applied to private school sports teams, which affects approximately 10 percent of private school teams.

Alignments were also released for fall sports, which recently completed championship play for the 2021-22 school year, based on the number of schools declaring to participate in a sport for the upcoming 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years.

“More than 190,000 student-athletes are expected to participate in AHSAA sports activities during the upcoming classification period,” noted Central Board President Van Phillips, principal at Center Point High School.

The 2022-23 and 2023-24 football alignment places the 32 largest high schools in Class 7A, 57 in Class 6A, 56 in Class 5A, 62 in Class 4A, 60 in Class 3A, 60 in Class 2A and 62 in Class 1A.

“I want to thank the Classification Task Force, Central Board and AHSAA staff for their dedicated effort and time put in and the recommendations they made,” said AHSAA executive director Alvin Briggs. “As always, it was a difficult job, but everyone worked together to find the best solution as we move forward.”

The biggest football school in the state is now Class 7A Auburn High, which wrested the top spot from Hoover High.


  • Class 5A, Region 8: Russellville, Brewer, Ardmore, East Limestone, Fairview, Lawrence County and West Point
  • Class 3A, Region 8: Phil Campbell, Clements, Colbert County, Colbert Heights, Elkmont, Lauderdale County and Mars Hill
  • Class 2A, Region 9: Red Bay, Tharptown, Falkville, Hatton, Lexington, Lindsey Lane, Sheffield and Tanner
  • Class 1A, Region 8: Vina, Addison, Cherokee, Hackleburg, Meek, Phillips, Shoals Christian and Waterloo


  • Class 5A, Area 15: Russellville, Brewer, Lawrence County and West Point
  • Class 3A,  Area 15: Phil Campbell, Colbert County and Colbert Heights
  • Class 2A, Area 11: Red Bay, Lamar County, Sulligent and Winston County
  • Class 2A, Area 15: Tharptown, Hatton, Mars Hill, Lexington and Sheffield
  • Class 1A, Area: Belgreen, Hackleburg and Phillips