Alabama High School Athletic Association Adds New 7A Classification


By Alabama News Network

High schools move up and down in classification all the time, but this is the first time in decades that a brand new class has been added.

A total of 32 schools will now be classified as 7A. In our area, Jeff Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Prattville are all making the jump. So, what does this mean for high school athletics? Lamar Brooks, who serves as president of the Alabama High School Athletic Association's Central Board says more students will be involved under the new classifications.

"I think I saw some figure that somewhere in the neighborhood of 5000 additional players, band members, other supporting staff of athletics would be able to participate in our championship program."

Carver High School has not moved up or down in the classification, but Head Football Coach Billy Gresham says some of the school's rivals have.

"JD, Lee and Carver and Lanier have been playing each other so long so now Carver, we'll have to find a way to get those guys on our schedule."

While some rivalries may be in jeopardy, officials with the AHSAA believe the pros outweigh the cons. Sports Analyst John Longshore says the new system, determined by enrollment numbers, will even the playing field.

"I wonder how much Hoover High School had to do with that because they've been the dominant 6A program for so long and now they move up along with 31 other schools who probably can compete a little bit better with Hoover."

Gresham says new matchups will have athletes and coaches preparing for tougher competition.

"Find out what the school's dynamics are, what they do offensively, defensively, in the kicking game," he says. "You just really have to go back to square one with some of the new opponents."

This new classification system isn't just for football, all high school sports will be affected.

It will go into effect this fall.


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