White County High School got some unexpected good news this week from the Georgia High School Association.
WCHS officials found out last week the school was slotted to stay in Class AAAA when the new realignment system begins for the 2020-21 school year. But on Tuesday, the GHSA announced WCHS will be moved into Class AAA beginning next fall.
According to WCHS athletic director Craig Turner, the school found out Monday there was a chance to move down after seven AAA school requested to play up in AAAA
“I got a call Monday (from the GHSA) and was told we would have an opportunity to be placed in AAA without having to appeal, so we dropped our appeal. Since we were close to the bottom (in student population) in AAAA, we were one of the fortunate schools to have the chance to move down.”
After the GHSA wrapped up the appeal process on Tuesday, the group released the proposed regions beginning next fall. WCHS will be part of Region 7-AAA, along with West Hall, Cherokee Bluff, Dawson County, Lumpkin County, North Hall, and Gilmer County.
North Hall and Gilmer County were two other schools that were moved from AAAA to AAA during the appeal process.
“I think the region looks great right now,” Turner said. “There's still one final appeal process where schools can request to be moved into a different region. I don't think any of the schools in our region want to move to a different region, but there may be somebody that asks to be moved to our region. We'll just have to wait and see if that happen. But right now, I'm pleased with our new region.”
Turner said the appeal process ends early next week, and once those hearings are held, the region's will be finalized.
“Once that's done, it's time to get together and start finalizing schedules for the fall sports like football and softball,” Turner said. “I'm ready for it (realignment process) to be over so we can get started on everything.”
After spending the past four years in a region dominated by private school powers Marist and Blessed Trinity, along with Flowery Branch, a former Class AAAAA school, and Denmark, a second-year school with a current student population of more than 2,100 students, Turner said it's exciting to be back in region with teams that are local and have traditional history with the school.
“I've talked to the coaches and they are happy about it, excited about it,” Turner said. “It's kind of energized everybody. We've been in the same region for four years, and it was a long four years. So it's nice to have a chance to compete with some different programs, some of which are old rivals. We're just ready for it.”