How reclassification affects football regions

Published 8:23 pm Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Keith Bears will play in a football region with Aliceville, Billingsley, Francis Marion, R.C. Hatch, Thorsby and Verbena this upcoming season. — File Photo

The Keith Bears will play in a football region with Aliceville, Billingsley, Francis Marion, R.C. Hatch, Thorsby and Verbena this upcoming season. — File Photo

Only two area schools — Southside and Keith — moved classifications Wednesday, but every football region but one was shaken up in some way.

Southside’s drop from 4A to 3A and Keith’s jump from 1A to 2A brings an entirely new slate of region football opponents for those two schools. Ellwood Christian stays in 1A, but its football region is almost completely different from last season’s.

Dallas County stayed in 5A and Selma remained in 6A, and between the two schools, there is only a minor change-up in Dallas County’s region.

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The Panthers move from class 4A, region 1 to class 3A, region 3 with opponents they are not used to playing. Two teams in Southside’s new region — Montgomery Academy and Pike County — made the playoffs last season, but the other four teams, which includes Prattville Christian, Central Coosa, Beulah and B.B. Comer all finished with losing records.

Southside was 2-8 in 4A last season. Head coach Daniel Flowers said the challenges his team faced in 4A will prepare his team well for 3A.

“With the competition we had with those guys, I think it’ll help us with the region that we’ll be in now,” Flowers said.

Flowers is excited to be playing in 3A again, and he has high hopes for his team.

“I think we’ll be a playoff team next year,” Flowers said.



After playing in a five-team region in 1A, the Bears move to a seven-team region in class 2A, region 4. Keith might have an easier road to the top this season since Maplesville, who won the 1A state championship last season, is no longer in Keith’s region.

The Bears are coming off a trip to the playoffs, and they now share a

region with three other teams that made the playoffs last season, which includes Aliceville, Thorsby and Vebena.

Keith also has a chance to renew old rivalries with opponents the Bears have become familiar with past matchups. Billingsley, Francis Marion and R.C. Hatch are all teams Keith head coach Harry Crum is excited about playing against.

“I think they will really welcome these local — what used to be — rivalry games between us and Francis Marion and us and R.C. Hatch,” Crum said.


Ellwood Christian

The Eagles remained in class 1A, but they move from region 4 to region 3. The only returning region opponent for Ellwood is Maplesville. Notasulga and Autaugaville also enter Ellwood’s region coming off winning seasons. Highland Home and Isabella round out the Eagles’ seven-team region.

Ellwood finished 3-7 last season after a 3-0 start, barely missing out on the playoffs.


Dallas County

Dallas County remained in class 5A, region 4 with minimal changes to the teams inside its region. The two teams that left were Helena, which finished 9-3 last season, and Wilcox Central, which finished 0-10. The only team joining the Hornets’ region is Marbury, which finished 2-8 last season. Dallas County head coach Marty Smith said his team is familiar with Marbury because the junior varsity teams have already been playing each other.

Smith said that the lack of a major shake-up will help his team.

“It’s going to make it easier for us to prepare because we already have an idea of what each other’s personnel is going to be,” Smith said.

Smith said that after his team finished 6-5 last season and secured a playoff spot, the Hornets might be a bigger target.

“It gives us an opportunity to build off the success that we’ve had,” Smith said. “The difference is we’ve got to learn how to handle success this year. We’re not going to be sneaking up on anybody.”



After finishing sixth out of seven in class 6A, region 4 with a 5-5 record, the Saints return to the same region with the same opponents. Selma head coach Leroy Miles said he expects a better outcome this season.

“I think they will be motivated because we played some tough games,” Miles said. “We played some close games with Hillcrest and Northridge and Paul Bryant.”

About Justin Fedich

Staff writer for The Selma Times-Journal.

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