A look at the new regions after Tuesday's Georgia High School Association reclassification sub-committee meeting.
Forsyth County high school teams can look forward to some new region opponents with the latest tweaks to the athletic landscape at the Georgia High School Association’s reclassification meeting Tuesday in Thomaston, Ga.
The GHSA met to place schools in regions for the 2014-16 school years, and there were few surprises for Forsyth teams. Lambert, North Forsyth, South Forsyth and West Forsyth remain in Region 6-AAAAAA. Forsyth Central remains in Region 7-AAAAA. Pinecrest Academy was moved to Region 6-A, Div. B.
Region 6-AAAAAA added and Habersham Central and Northview. Region 7-AAAAA added North Atlanta and River Ridge after losing Northview, Osborne and Pope, who all moved up in classification.
Schools can appeal to make lateral transfers to another region. The full GHSA executive committee will make the final ratification on Jan. 14.
"Our Forsyth-North Fulton region has become competitive for us," North athletic director Nathan Turner said. "It’s been a good region to have four of the five [public] schools together."
Status quo was maintained for Region 6-AAAAAA, even with the addition of Northview. The Duluth school was considered a natural fit to join Forsyth teams, along with Alpharetta, Centennial, Chattahoochee and Johns Creek. The Titans were in a region with Forsyth teams in Class AAAAA from 2008-11. Lambert and South scheduled non-region football games against Northview the past two seasons.
"It’s just another piece of the North Fulton area back," Turner said.
Turner said the addition of Habersham Central was a surprise. The Mt. Airy school, which is 57 miles from Lambert, creates some travel conflicts for spring sports and minor sports.
"Definitely was surprising," said Turner, who attended the reclassification meeting along with Lambert athletic director Drew Ferrer, "but we’re OK it."
The Raiders are surely grateful to leave Region 7-AAAAAA, where they’ve gone 1-19 the past two seasons against Gwinnett teams like Collins Hill, Norcross and North Gwinnett. They’ll get a chance for a clean slate – the Raiders haven’t played any of the four Forsyth schools in Region 6-AAAAAA in football and last played a Forsyth school in 1991 when a member of Region 8-AAA, North Div. with Central.
Likewise, North Atlanta is probably elated to leave Region 6-AAAAA where the Warriors toiled against DeKalb teams like M.L. King, Southwest DeKalb, Stephenson and Tucker. North Atlanta is 1-19 the past two seasons in football after going 7-3 in 2010 in Class AAA.
River Ridge, a Woodstock school that opened in 2009, joins Region 7-AAAAA after going 2-8 this season in Region 7-AAAA.
Pinecrest, meanwhile, is grateful to be out of Region 8-A and all the travel that came with competing against teams in the Athens area. The Paladins join with schools in Cobb and Fulton counties -- Fellowship Christian, Fulton Science Academy, King's Ridge, Mt. Pisgah, St. Francis and Walker -- many of whom they compete against on the middle school level.'
"It's a perfect transition," Pinecrest athletic director Tom Palmer said. "Travel, gate, concessions -- it's positive all the way around.
"And no more travelling up the mountains."
Realignment left Central, Lambert, North, South and West in 10-member regions, which will mean nine-game region schedules for football and just one open date for a non-region game.
Pinecrest will have a seven-game region schedule in football; Fulton Science Academy doesn't compete in football.