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Reclassification looms for Clayton County schools

Clayton County School athletic director Kevin May says he doesn’t expect any big changes when the Georgia High School Association does it recently reclassification process. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

Clayton County School athletic director Kevin May says he doesn’t expect any big changes when the Georgia High School Association does it recently reclassification process. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

JONESBORO — The landscape of sports in Clayton County could slightly change under the bi-annual Georgia High School Association reclassification.

Schools had until yesterday to appeal enrollment numbers, which were released recently by the Georgia Department of Education. The GHSA’s reclassification committee will meet on Monday to place schools for the 2014-16 school years.

Judging by early projections of those numbers, and the GHSA by-laws, some teams in the county will find themselves in new classifications.

In early projections, North Clayton will likely be placed in Class AAA. Over the last few years, the College Park school has had AAA enrollment numbers, but has elected to play up a class to be with other county schools. In recent years, the school is finding it harder to compete with larger schools because of low numbers.

“We are going to look at everything across the board,” North Clayton athletic director Henry Laws said. “We have to look at all the factors before making a decision. You have to look at the budget and travel for our teams.”

Clayton County athletic director Kevin May said the ideal situation for North Clayton would be for it to be placed in a Class AAA region with Atlanta schools because of travel cost. North Clayton’s enrollment of 846 would place it on the low end in AAA.

“You never know how things will go,” May said. “We want to keep down cost, and I think that situation will work out best. You just never know who goes up or down in these situations.”

Under GHSA by-laws, schools can elect to play up in classification, but can’t move down in class. Schools have until Dec. 2 to appeal to move up. Schools will be placed in regions during the GHSA meeting on Dec. 3. Once placed in their regions, schools will be able to appeal for a lateral transfer to another region.

Those appeals will be heard during meetings on Dec. 17 and Jan. 14. The GHSA executive committee will ratify the reclassifications plan on Jan. 14.

Morrow, which has been in Class AAAAAA the last two years, will likely get placed in AAAAA. Drew, Forest Park and Mount Zion have been in AAAAA the last two years, and placed in a region with Henry and Fayette county schools.

Jonesboro and Riverdale will probably stay in AAAA and be placed in a region with Henry County schools again.

“We really don’t expect any big changes,” May said.