GHSA realignment sends county trio to new region
by John Bednarowski
sportseditor@mdjonline.com
December 04, 2013 01:06 AM | 4195 views | 5 5 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
South Cobb and Pebblebrook will remain region rivals when the new alignments go into effect next fall, but the two rivals — along with Campbell — will do so without the other teams of west and north Cobb. The Eagles, Falcons and Spartans will be part of a new Region 3AAAAAA with schools from the western and southern suburbs of Atlanta.
<BR>Special photo by John Silas
South Cobb and Pebblebrook will remain region rivals when the new alignments go into effect next fall, but the two rivals — along with Campbell — will do so without the other teams of west and north Cobb. The Eagles, Falcons and Spartans will be part of a new Region 3AAAAAA with schools from the western and southern suburbs of Atlanta.
Special photo by John Silas
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Campbell, Pebblebrook and South Cobb are ready to do some traveling.

They may also be ready to do some more winning.

The Georgia High School Association released its region alignments for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years Tuesday, and the three Cobb schools will leave the ultra-competitive Region 4AAAAAA next fall and join forces with schools from the southern and western suburbs of Atlanta to create a new Region 3AAAAAA.

The three Cobb schools will join Douglas County, East Coweta, Langston Hughes, Newnan and Westlake to form the new region, and it should help make their respective athletic programs more competitive.

“We have such a transient school population, we consistently have to have a great season just to get in the postseason in most sports,” Campbell athletic director Rudy Deveaux said. “That was central to our appeal (to the GHSA). That’s the way (our coaches) wanted to go, so we’re excited.

“Our goal is to increase postseason play for our programs.”

The drawback of Campbell, Pebblebrook and South Cobb changing regions is increased travel — not only for the teams, but for their fan bases — and the costs involved. It was one of the main considerations Deveaux said the trio of schools asked to go together, so a large portion of their schedules could remain within the county.

And that trio may eventually be a quartet.

According to a source close to the situation who asked to remain anonymous, Osborne, which will move up to Class AAAAAA and has been put into Region 4AAAAAA, may consider appealing to the GHSA to make a lateral move to stay with Campbell, Pebblebrook and South Cobb.

Osborne athletic director Brandon Mann said he had not had an opportunity to sit with his coaches and discuss the new region alignment yet, and did not want to comment.

Appeals for a lateral movement must be made to the GHSA by Dec. 13.

Should an appeal not be made, or if it is denied, Osborne would join the remaining teams of this year’s Region 4AAAAAA — Harrison, Hillgrove, Kennesaw Mountain, Marietta, McEachern and North Cobb — along with North Paulding to make the new region.

There is only one change in Region 5AAAAAA, as Pope moved up to the highest classification to rekindle some of its former region rivalries with east Cobb neighbors Lassiter, Walton and Wheeler.

“It’s going to be exciting for our school,” Pope athletic director Josh Mathews said. “I don’t think we’ve played Wheeler or Walton in basketball since we dropped down (to a lower classification), and I think we may have the most competitive volleyball region in the state.”

Mathews also said he expects wrestling, baseball and many of the other sports to be contending on the state’s highest level.

The Cobb schools will be joined by holdovers Cherokee, Etowah, Woodstock, Milton and Roswell to make the expanded region.

In Class AAAAA, Allatoona’s Region 5AAAAA has been overhauled. Gone are Lithia Springs, North Paulding and New Manchester and in will come Cass and Dalton.

Allatoona athletic director Benji Morrell said it will nice to restart the rivalry the Buccaneers had with Dalton when both were Class AAA programs, and he’s looking forward to having a non-region football game instead of being forced to play a 10-game region slate.

“We’ve already reached out to coach (Scott) Jones at North Paulding,” Morrell said. “That’s such a big rivalry, we hope to keep them on the schedule.”

With Pope and Osborne both making the leap to Class AAAAAA, it will leave Kell and Sprayberry as the only two Cobb teams in Region 7AAAAA, where newcomers River Ridge and North Atlanta have been placed. The rest of the region will include Cambridge, Creekview, Forsyth Central, North Springs, Riverwood and Sequoyah.

After two years of having all four of the county’s Class A private schools in the same region, Whitefield Academy is being separated from the group.

The Wolfpack are scheduled to call Region 5A home for the next two school years. That region currently is expected to have 17 schools, but only five others — Eagle’s Landing Christian, Landmark Christian, Mount Vernon Presbyterian, Our Lady of Mercy and Strong Rock Christian — currently play football.

Whitefield athletic director Lynn Dupree said he and his coaches learned of the new region alignments late Tuesday afternoon and have decided to take a few days to talk about the new region before making a decision whether to make a lateral appeal to be reunited with its Cobb rivals.

Mount Paran Christian, North Cobb Christian and Walker will all remain in Region 6A, but the Wolverines have been sent to the opposite subregion.

The region will have 16 teams, with 11 currently playing football. North Cobb Christian, which has yet to play a region schedule, will continue play non-region football schedules the next two years.
Comments
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Trojan2017
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December 05, 2013
What would your suggestion be for those schools then? Remember they added Osborne and North Paulding to Region 4 also. Do you suggest a very large region? I think it was best to take the southern Cobb schools and let them play with the relatively close region 3 schools. If this were JUST about Cobb, then yes the move doesn't make sense, but it was about the entire class AAAAAA.
Cobb Taxpayer
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December 06, 2013
The Cobb schools that asked to increase their travel costs did not do so to benefit class AAAAAA. I suggest North Paulding be placed in region 5, and that the region 4 schools remain - leaving regions 4 and 5 as 10-team regions; the same size as region 6.

By the way, those 3 schoools went 0-13 against 6A playoff teams this year, with an average margin of defeat of 4 touchdowns.
Cobb Taxpayer
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December 04, 2013
Cobb County Schools had an $81 million shortfall last year, and are projected to have shortfalls fro next year and beyond. Why are we seeking to increase travel costs for a few high schools so that they can reach the first round of the playoffs (where they will promptly lose)?
Educated Tax Payer
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December 04, 2013
Obviously Cobb Tax Payer you need to be informed before you can speak on this subject. The GHSA is only going to have eight regions, along with avoiding putting more than 10 schools in a region. Secondly, the new Region 3 and 4 are some of the most cost effective Regions when it comes to travel. Lastly, you can't speak to if they will promptly lose. Region 4 in football may have been the toughest in the State Top to bottom. More teams in the playoffs would generate more revenue for the schools in Cobb County.
More Educated
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December 04, 2013
Obviously, I am more educated than "Educated Tax Payer". Of course the GHSA will only have 8 regions. The 3 schools were already in an all-Cobb region, which would of course be more cost effective than traveling out of the county. As the article mentions, moving to Region 3 INCREASES TRAVEL COSTS. The schools mentioned went a combined 3-17 against schools other than themselves, Kennesaw Mountain, and Osborne this year. This move is about more than football; baseball, softball, boys and girls basketball, all sports will travel more, costing the county more - while we shut down schools for 5 or more instructional days because we're in debt. And no, one road playoff game won't come close to making up the revenue.
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