The Georgia High School Association revealed its tentative regions for the next two years, and Cherokee County’s six schools will see new slate of opponents beginning with the 2020-21 school year.
The new regions, once approved, will remain for a two-year cycle, as opposed to the pre-existing four-year cycle that ends with the current school year.
In Class AAAAAAA, Cherokee, Etowah and Woodstock will be in Region 5 with Alpharetta, Milton and Roswell. The new six-team region eliminates the previous region ties between Cherokee and east Cobb counties and creates a new relationship with north Fulton County.
Current region rival Walton will be in a new Region 3 of teams from west and north Cobb County, in addition to North Paulding. Lassiter, meanwhile, is dropping down to Class AAAAAA.
“I’d heard we might pick up Milton, and wasn’t sure what was going to happen with Walton,” Woodstock football coach Brent Budde said. “I don’t think we’ve ever had it any other way in terms of it has always been the Cherokee teams with the Cobb teams, but they’ve made a couple Cobb County regions, and I do think it’s interesting.
“We’ve had Milton in our region before, and a long time ago, we had Chattahoochee in our region, so we’ve played schools from Fulton before. I think the travel worked out well for all the Cherokee schools, to be honest with you.”
As it relates to Cherokee County, the greater change will be seen in Class AAAAAA.
Creekview, River Ridge and Sequoyah will play in Region 7 with north Fulton County’s Cambridge, Centennial, Chattahoochee, Johns Creek and Riverwood. It will be a far cry from the current nine-team Region 6AAAAAA, which currently consists of the three Cherokee schools, five from Cobb and one outlier in Dalton.
“I think it’ll be good and save us on some travel,” Creekview football coach Trevor Williams said. “Several years back, the Forsyth, Fulton and Cherokee schools were all in the same region, so I guess that was the precedent they used.”
With the GHSA aligning schools from Cherokee and Fulton counties, the longest trips for the Class AAAAAAA teams will be to Alpharetta, while the longest trip for the Class AAAAAA teams will be to play Riverwood in Sandy Springs.
“I think the GHSA did an admirable job with the 6A region assignments,” Cherokee County School District athletic director Tonya Sebring said. “It appears there was conscious effort to balance the regions in both classifications.
“All appeals for lateral movement between regions will be heard in the next few days. I am hopeful there will be no additions to the CCSD regions, as it gives our schools more flexibility in scheduling and an opportunity to compete against other county teams outside of the regions.”
The new regions are tentative, with the GHSA reclassification committee scheduled to meet Tuesday to hear final appeals for any school wanting to make a lateral move from one region to another, while remaining in the same classification.