Mark Edwards' In My Opinion: AHSAA realignment gives us more pros than cons
by Mark Edwards
medwards@annistonstar.com
Jan 22, 2014 | 2486 views |  0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Not everybody is happy with the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s realignment, but locally, it appears we have more reason to cheer than boo.

It’s good Oxford will remain in Class 6A, and the Yellow Jackets have a better shot to be part of the championship hunt in nearly all sports. Under the old system, Oxford competed with schools that had significantly more students, and that wasn’t always fair.

Although you only can put 11 players on a football field at the same time or five on a basketball court, those larger schools have more students to pick from, and that makes a difference. Now, Oxford is competing against schools that are closer to its size.

In Class 3A, it’s good to see five Calhoun County schools occupy the same football region: Ohatchee, Piedmont, Pleasant Valley, Wellborn and Weaver. All of those schools, except Ohatchee, will compete in the same area in basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball. That will make for easier travel and help push local rivalries.

It’s a shame to see Saks and White Plains forced to move from Class 3A to 4A, but it’s good both schools will compete against local schools for region and area championships. Jacksonville, Saks, White Plains, Cherokee County and Cleburne County will compete in the same football area, while in basketball, baseball, softball and volleyball, all of those schools – except Cherokee County – will make up an area.

The hard part is seeing Anniston and Alexandria move up from 4A to 5A. It will be a travel problem in football. They’re playing in the same region as Springville, St. Clair County, Mortimer Jordan, Moody and Hayden. St. Clair County is the closest – 45 miles from Anniston High and 37 from Alexandria.

In addition, it would’ve been nice to see local rivals Jacksonville and Alexandria in the same classification.

The best part is that with the addition of a seventh classification, there are more chances for teams to make postseason play and win championships. With 412 schools that sponsor sports and are members of the AHSAA, seven classifications are reasonable.

Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at medwards@annistonstar.com. Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.
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