Keith drops to 1A; Selma to hit road

Published 1:14 am Thursday, November 5, 2009

MONTGOMERY — Keith High School’s drop in classification from 2A to 1A will move the football team into a fairly new list of opponents into the 2010 schedule.

And the shift in regional opponents makes Friday’s first-round playoff game against Pickens County even more significant.

The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control approved unanimously the 2010-11 and 2011-12 classifications and the alignments for football and basketball Wednesday.

Email newsletter signup

The Central Board approved the reclassifications based on the daily membership numbers provided by the State Board of Education. Schools are reclassified every two years.

Keith, which listed 142 students, did not change in numbers, Bears head football coach Harry Crum said Wednesday night.

“The enrollment didn’t change, not one kid,” Crum said at the Dallas County Tip-Off Classic. “Everybody else gained in enrollment and got bigger.”

The cutoff for Class 2A schools was 150 students.

The 2010 Class 1A Region 4 lineup lists Keith with Autaugaville, Holy Spirit, John Essex, former 2A Pickens County Shade Mountain Christian and perennial football powerhouse Maplesville, which is ranked No. 4 in Class 1A this week.

The new football region alignments will have only four nine-team regions in Classes 2A and 3A. In the current alignments, the nine-team regions are in Classes 1A, 5A and 6A.

“I was surprised,” Crum said. “We’re losing our traditional opponents. We’ll just have to tweak our schedule.”

Autaugaville is no stranger to Keith, which Crum said the Bears have used as “a swing game.”

Also affected by the reclassifications is Selma, which had at one time been classified as 6A.

“I had hoped we might go back to 6A,” Selma athletic director Patrick Evans said. “There’s nothing we can do about what was done, so we’ll just have to do the best we can.”

The Saints now have three Tuscaloosa schools in Region 3 for 2010: Brookwood, Central Tuscaloosa and Paul Bryant. The other teams from this season’s region are Chilton County, Demopolis, Greenville and Wilcox Central.

In the redefined Class 2A alignment, Francis Marion and R.C. Hatch are in Region 4 with American Christian, Billingsley, Isabella, Thorsby and Vincent. No Class 3A schools are located in the Central Alabama region.

In Class 4A, Region 4 is unchanged with Dallas County, Southside, Bibb County, Green County, Holt, Jemison, Livingston and West Blockton.

Basketball alignments changed significantly for Selma when Carver-Montgomery moved to Class 6A and Chilton County was moved to another region. Now for the Area 5 competition in 2010 with Selma will be Demopolis and new area opponents Greenville and Wilcox Central.

Class 4A Area 6 is not new with Dallas County and Southside playing Bibb County and Jemison. Francis Marion and R.C. Hatch will have Billingsley, Isabella and Thorsby in Class 2A Area 7.

For Keith, Class 1A holds Autaugaville, Maplesville and Sunshine in Area 5 competition.