By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
The proposed district alignments for the next classification period are a mixed bag for area teams.
Both Union City and South Fulton will be largely unaffected if said proposition passes, but Obion County Central will be a part of a significantly-different landscape.
Schools will vote to ratify — with changes or not — the proposal at the TSSAA Board of Control meeting at the DoubleTree Hotel in Murfreesboro Thursday. The district alignments would go into effect beginning with the 2013-14 school year and be in place for three more years after that.
UC and SF would remain as members of District 14A in all sports, with the addition of Gibson County as the only change to the current league set-up.
That would give the district eight football-playing schools — meaning each would have seven league games and just three non-district dates to fill schedule-wise. Teams had to schedule four non-district foes in each of the past four years to complete their 10-game slates.
While 1A during the regular season before being split into Single- and Double-A for the playoffs, that leaves Union City, South Fulton, Lake County, Greenfield and now Humboldt in Class A with the Vikings being the lone addition after declining enrollment dropped them from the 2A ranks.
Trenton, Gibson County and Halls will make up the Double-A portion of 14A with Halls going up from Class 1A.
In all other sports, 14A will be made up of nine schools with Bradford — the league’s lone non-football-playing — joining in competition in basketball, baseball, softball and tennis.
OCCHS, meanwhile, will be part of a revamped District 13AA that will be minus Covington, Haywood and Ripley — if the proposal is passed Thursday.
The Rebels will join Crockett County, Dyersburg, Milan, South Gibson and Westview in competition in all sports in a six-team circuit.
Such a circuit would give all sports great flexibility scheduling-wise. The football program would have the luxury of scheduling five non-district foes and could fill those dates with more comparable opposition than the Covingtons, Haywoods and Ripleys which regularly have a decided advantage in athleticism over Central.
The past two seasons, OC was in a 10-team league football-wise that was broken into two five-team pods. Each club was required to play everyone in its pod, plus two teams from the opposite pod — leaving three non-league dates to schedule.
Covington, Haywood and Ripley would be part of a six-school District 15AA that also would include three Jackson schools — Central-Merry, Northside and Liberty — in the new set-up.
A third six-school league (District 14AA) would be made up of Bolivar, Chester County, Fayette-Ware, Jackson South Side, Lexington and McNairy Central.
Obion County Central and its brethren would be matched against that district in regional competition in sports such as basketball, baseball and softball.
That same scheduling flexibility would also be a welcomed change for OC basketball teams, which have used up the majority of their regular season dates on previous district foes.
District 13A also remained largely the same with no additional teams coming aboard in the nine-team league that has six football-playing institutions.
The only change is that Dresden comes down from 2A to Single-A for the football playoffs, while Huntingdon does the opposite and joins Carroll County rival McKenzie as the district’s only two Double-A entries.
Big Sandy, Carroll Academy and Clarksburg are the three non-football schools in the district.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 11.12.12