THOMASTON — A day after a preliminary plan was approved by the Class A committee, the full reclassification committee approved it at a meeting of the Georgia High School Association Wednesday.
The new Class A plan was approved in a 15-1 vote, according to GHSA minutes. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said it would next be up to the executive committee to approve the plan.
As decided Tuesday, the plan for Class A would be to apply the 3.0 multiplier to schools in Class A and public and private schools with 2A- and 3A-sized numbers moved up to those classifications. Currently, a school cannot be forced out of Class A, even when its reclassification count would place it in a larger division.
The original plan only saw private schools affected by the multiplier, but reclassification committee member Davis Russell asked it apply to both public and private. “In my opinion, using the multiplier on everybody is what’s fair,” said Russell. “Do what’s right.” The committee agreed with Russell that public schools should be forced up as well.
Beyond the multiplier, private and public schools would be bunched together and divided into an undetermined amount of regions. This season, there are eight private school regions and eight public school regions in Class A.
When state playoffs start, Class A schools would be divided into large and small divisions, with championships for each.
The reclassification committee also released new classifications showing the effects of the private schools moving to 2A and 3A. If fully approved, new regions will be drawn up.
No area schools have been moved up or down in the proposed plan, but their regions could be affected. Appling County and Tattnall County would move from 3A to 2A. Pelham would come up from Class A to 2A.
The reclassification also has a few surprises for Class A, with Elbert County, Bleckley County, Northeast (Macon), Southwest (Macon), Rabun County and McNair considered small enough to be in its grip. In the 1980s, Southwest was the largest high school in the state.
The new Region 1-AA, featuring Fitzgerald, Berrien, Cook, Worth County, Bacon County, Brantley County and Jeff Davis, will almost certainly be broken apart by the plan. Bacon is small enough to go down to A while Pelham moves up to AA.
A new Region 1-AA would likely keep the core together — Cook, Berrien, Fitzgerald and Worth — and add Pelham. Jeff Davis and Brantley may or may not be part of it, especially as they are just as near Savannah area schools. Appling County might be in this new region, depending on how the lines are drawn, with Toombs County and Tattnall County also possibilities.
In the divided Class A, Irwin County, Bacon County, Dublin and Brooks County would be in the large schools division, per the proposal. Atkinson County, Lanier County, Wilcox County, Turner County, Clinch County and Echols County would be in the small schools division.