Harrison is set to move up, while Wheeler, Lassiter and Kennesaw Mountain will be making the move down to a lower classification according to the Georgia High School Association.
The GHSA on Tuesday released its reclassification numbers for the 2020-22 school years, and the four Cobb County schools were placed in different classifications.
Harrison will move up to Class AAAAAAA starting next fall. Based on enrollment numbers, the school will have 2,717 students, placing it 33rd of the largest 47 schools in the state that make up the top classification.
If the GHSA wants to keep the regions as consistent as possible after the changes, it appears Harrison could simply take the spot in Region 3AAAAAA left by Kennesaw Mountain's expected departure. The Hoyas would join the other north and west Cobb schools -- McEachern, Hillgrove, Marietta, North Cobb -- along with North Paulding.
Wheeler is expected to be the largest school in Class AAAAAA, with an enrollment of 2,654. Lassiter's expected enrollment dropped to 2,340, and Kennesaw Mountain's dropped to 2,262.
Schools in Class A and Class AAAAAAA were classified based only on their enrollment numbers, because the rules adopted by the GHSA executive committee prevented schools from being forced up into Class AAAAAAA or out of Class A because of the 2.0 multiplier placed on students that live outside of a school's natural attendance zone.
For Wheeler, that is the reason why it has a larger enrollment than some Class AAAAAAA schools, but it will be reclassified in Class AAAAAA.
Don Baker, the athletic director for the Cobb County School District, said there were no surprises when the new numbers were released.
"It was what we expected," Baker said. "All the teams landed where we expected."
Baker also said that, based on the conversations he has had with administrators at Wheeler, Lassiter and Kennesaw Mountain, none will petition to play up to remain in Class AAAAAAA.
It will make for an interesting situation when teams are placed into new regions. With the three schools dropping in classification, it would give Cobb County eight Class AAAAAA teams. Currently, five Cobb schools share Region 6AAAAAA with three Cherokee County schools and Dalton, while Pope is an outlier in Region 7AAAAAA with Dunwoody, North Atlanta and six north Fulton County schools.
Rome and Carrollton, Paulding County and East Paulding are all set to make the move to Class AAAAAA, leaving its current Class AAAAA region with Kell. Considering the map of the Longhorns' current region, a new Cobb-dominant region could feature Kennesaw Mountain, Osborne, South Cobb, Allatoona, Rome, Carrollton, Paulding County, South Paulding and East Paulding.
That could leave a possible Cherokee- and Cobb-dominated region of Wheeler, Lassiter, Pope, Dalton, River Ridge, Creekview, Sequoyah, Cambridge and North Atlanta.
With Wheeler and Lassiter are set to drop to Class AAAAAA, that could leave Walton as the only east Cobb school in the largest classification. It could set up a new Region 4AAAAAAA that could include Walton, Cherokee, Etowah, Woodstock, Roswell and former region rival Milton.
Schools have until Nov. 11 to appeal their classifications. Baker said he expects the reclassification process to be complete by December.
Other schools of note set to make a change include Gainesville jumping to Class AAAAAAA, with Westlake moving down and Buford up into Class AAAAAA. Cartersville, Blessed Trinity, St. Pius X and Calhoun are set to move up, while M.L. King and Northview are set to drop down to Class AAAAA. Mays and Stephenson are set to drop to Class AAAA, and Sandy Creek is set to drop to Class AAA.
|SCHOOL||2019 ENROLLMENT||OUT OF ZONE||RECLASSIFICATION COUNT|
|MOUNT PARAN CHRISTIAN||412||317||729|
|NORTH COBB CHRISTIAN||360||306||666|
|MOUNT BETHEL CHRISTIAN||161||4||165|