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Falkville drops to Class 1A

Hartselle now fourth largest school in 5A

Falkville High School was affected more than any other school in Morgan County as a result of the AHSAA classification and alignment of schools announced last week.

The Blue Devils dropped from being one of the state’s smallest Class 2A schools to one of its largest Class 1A schools.

Beginning in 2012, Falkville will compete as a 1A school, effective at least through the 2013-14 school years.

“We knew dropping down a class was a possibility,” said Falkville head football coach Brad Vest. “The upside is we’ll be playing schools across the board that are closer to our size. The down side is most of them are new faces and we’re one of the few schools that have to play in a nine-team region. That leaves us with only two dates on our football schedule for non region games.”

“We’ll be the northern most team in our region but I don’t see a lot of difference in the number of miles we’ll have to travel to away games,” he added.

In football, the Blue Devils will compete in Region 6. Its opponents will be Sumiton Christian, Addison, Appalachian, Shades Mountain Christian, Ragland, Meek and Jefferson Christian. Its Area 11 opponent in basketball will be Addison, Decatur Heritage, Meek and Saint Bernard.

Classifications for all other Morgan County high schools will remain unchanged, as follows: Decatur and Austin, Class 6A; Hartselle and Brewer, both Class 5A; Priceville, Class 4A; Danville and West Morgan, both Class 3A; and Decatur Heritage, Class 1A.

Hartselle is the fourth largest 5A school with an enrollment of 705; Priceville is the 4A school with the smallest enrollment at 314; and Falkville comes in as 1A’s second largest school with an enrollment of 152.

Hartselle athletic director Johnny Berry said they weren’t really surprised about being the fourth largest 5A school. He said that is due to having a large junior class this year.

The new alignments will also move Hartselle back into a region with more of the Tigers’ natural rivals.

“We’re kind of back to where we were before the last realignment took place,” Berry said. “We play more of our natural rivals with Cullman, Athens and Russellville.We’ll have a lot less travel expenses too. We won’t have to go as far.”

The new region features six teams that made the playoffs this year. Berry said the new region is tougher, but he still expects the Tigers to be competitive.

“Hartselle has never shied away from competition,” Berry said. “It will be tougher night in and night out for us, but our coaching staff and our players have always welcomed that competition.

“The key will be how the volleyball, baseball and basketball areas will shake out,” Berry added.

Alignments changed as follows:

Hartselle: (Football Region 8) Cullman, Muscle Shoals, Athens, East Limestone, Lawrence Co., Russellville and West Point; (basketball Area 15) Cullman, East Limestone and West Point.

Brewer: (Football Region 7) Fort Payne, Southside Gadsden, Scottsboro, Arab, Columbia, Etowah and Boaz; (basketball Area 14) Scottsboro, Arab and Columbia.

Priceville: (Football Region 8) Brooks, Wilson, Haleyville, West Limestone, Rogers, East Lawrence and Central Florence; (Basketball) Area 15) Brooks, Haleyville and East Lawrence and Priceville.

Danville: (Football Region 7) Hamilton, Cordova, Good Hope, Hanceville, Vinemont, Winfield and Winston Co.; (Basketball Area 13) Good Hope, Hanceville and Vinemont.

West Morgan: (Football Region 8) Clements, Colbert Co., Deshler, Elkmont, Lauderdale Co., Madison Academy, and Westminster Christian; (Basketball Area 15) Elkmont, Madison Academy and Westminster Christian.

Decatur Heritage: (Football Region 8) Tharptown, Hubbard, Hackleburg, Shoals Christian, Phillips, Waterloo and Vina; (Basketball Area 11) Falkville, Addison, Meek and Saint Bernard.

Brent Maze contributed to this report.


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