The Georgia High School Association is on the brink of changing the way classifications are determined and that could leave Lee County and Westover in the same region, according to a report released Wednesday by Georgia High School Football Daily.
Before anything is finalized, the committee must vote and then go through the appeals process.
The report said the GHSA will soon vote on reclassification using a 3.0 multiplier for schools with students who come from out of their districts. This multiplier is being used to try and make competition more balanced after member schools complained that private schools and schools with large numbers of students from out of district were winning all of the state championships.
With numbers released Wednesday morning, both Lee County and Westover would be in Class AAAAA. Dougherty and Monroe would both remain in AAAA. The report showed Lee County High School has 1,855 students with zero out of district students and Westover reports 1,741 students with 16 percent out of district.
“Those numbers are based on projections from previous years so I am sure it will change a lot when this year’s numbers come out,” said Lee County head coach Dean Fabrizio. “In addition, this doesn’t take into account how many schools will appeal and be granted an exception to the 3.0 multiplier. When the final deal comes out, we will play wherever we land.”
If Lee County does drop to AAAAA, the Trojans would likely end up in a region with the state’s top-ranked football team in AAAAA, Warner Robins, and former region rival Coffee, currently ranked No. 4 in AAAAA. However, two Columbus schools, Northside and Hardaway, would also be AAAAA and Lee County could end up with those schools.
Two years ago, the GHSA reclassified schools and Monroe and Dougherty both landed in AAAA while Westover hit the AAAAA classification. Westover principal William Chunn appealed that decision because Westover would have had too much travel because no other schools nearby were classified AAAAA. Chunn and Westover won that appeal and are now playing in Region 1-AAAA along with Dougherty and Monroe. It is unclear at this point if Chunn and Westover would appeal again.
The 3.0 multiplier is not going to be used with Class A teams such as Pelham, Terrell County, Mitchell County and others. It will not move Worth County out of Class AA.