COVINGTON, Ga. - The Georgia High School Association announced on Tuesday the new classification alignments, and while many local schools are staying put in their respective classifications, one Newton county school is moving up in the ranks.
Eastside high school will make the jump from AAAA to AAAAA in the sports season, which should lead to stiffer competition for the Eagles.
The move to AAAAA is no surprise as the Eastside's student body numbers place them firmly in that classification. Eastside Eagles athletic director Phil Davidson is patiently waiting to see what region the Eagles are placed in for the next few seasons.
The Eagles could try to move up even farther up the ranks, but Davidson believes that in the end, the Eagles will find a home in AAAAA.
"It's kind of hard to say yet because we don't know who they'll match us up with the region alignments," said Davidson. "Because of our numbers, we are solidly in AAAAA, so we have looked at moving up (to AAAAAA), but I think we'll probably stay where we are and see who they put us with."
The region that seems to be the perfect fit for the Eagles would be Region 8-AAAAA. This region currently contains Buford, Cedar Shoals, Clarke Central, Johnson, Loganville and Walnut Grove. Buford and Cedar Shoals are the only two schools leaving the classification with Buford moving to AAAAAA and Cedar Shoals moving to AAAA.
If Eastside were to join in with Clarke Central, Johnson, Loganville, and Walnut Grove, then teams like Woodward Academy and Druid Hills, who are also joining AAAAA, could naturally move with Eastside to this region.
Regardless of what may happen, the GHSA has plenty of pivotal decisions to make concerning region alignment. The classification alignments were the first step, and the rest should unfold over the coming weeks.
As for Newton, Alcovy and Social Circle, each of these schools will continue to operate in the same classifications that they have in the past few seasons.
Newton will stay put in Georgia's largest classification, AAAAAAA, but must see if they will be moved from their actual region. Inside their region, the Rockdale County Bulldogs made the move down from AAAAAAA to AAAAAA.
As for the Alcovy Tigers, they will stay in the state's second-largest classification, AAAAAA, but are waiting to see if there is any shakeup within their region. Many believe Rockdale County could move to the Tigers’ region once region alignments are announced.
Social Circle, the smallest of the four Newton County schools, is staying put and will continue to play within AA. Every school is due for shakeups, so it remains to be seen if the Redskins will remain in the same region.
Each of these schools seem to have an idea of where they will be playing next season, and that idea will only get more clear as regions are announced.