Riverwood and North Springs will be among those sitting tight as they remain in Region 7AAAAA.
However, North Springs will be joining Riverwood in Subregion B this season after playing in Subregion A the last two years.
Joining the Sandy Springs rivals in 7AAAAA will be North Atlanta, which moves from 6AAAAA this fall.
With last season’s Class AAAAA semifinalist Kell the overwhelming favorite in 7AAAAA, Riverwood will try to remain in state playoff contention in 2014 with a younger team after losing 26 players from its postseason qualifying squad of a year ago.
“On our side [subregion], you’ve got Kell, who’s always going to be that team that everybody’s going to be checking,” Riverwood coach Ben Stready said.
“But Sprayberry is going to be a good opponent. I remember Sprayberry from my days [coaching] at East Paulding, so they’re going to be good. And you’re looking at the likes of North Springs, which was improved last year, and we also have North Atlanta moving in. Sequoyah is going to be up there. We play Creekview early on and they were very impressive at the end of the season. So it’s not going to be easy.”
Meanwhile, North Springs and North Atlanta will take a step forward in their rebuilding programs and move closer to postseason contention.
Westminster finds itself in a new region, 4AAA, after moving up to AAA from AA.
The Wildcats will attempt to contend for a state playoff berth in a competitive Subregion B that includes AAA quarterfinalist Blessed Trinity as well as other strong postseason contenders like Decatur and Washington.
“I think we have a difficult region, especially our subregion, with Blessed Trinity. They have a tremendous team this year,” Westminster coach Gerry Romberg said. “I think they are in the top five in AAA this year. Decatur is going to be tough. We’ve played Blessed Trinity, but we haven’t played the other teams in our subregion and some of them we haven’t played for several years. So it’s kind of that unknown quantity that you’re not familiar with your opponents. It’s going to be a feeling out process this year to see where everybody stacks up.”
Defending AA state champion Lovett loses Westminster as a rival in 6AA, but gains a couple of other local rivals as Holy Innocents’ and Pace move up from Class A to join the Lions.
While Lovett is expected once again to contend for the 6AA title, along with Greater Atlanta Christian, Holy Innocents’ will also try to be in the mix for a state playoff berth after advancing to the Class A private school quarterfinals a year ago. Pace seeks to earn a postseason bid after barely missing out in Class A in 2013.
“We’re excited about what the region and the new teams in the region has in store for us,” Lovett coach Mike Muschamp said. “I feel like we have good rivalry situations as far as GAC and Wesleyan is concerned and we’re looking forward to playing those other teams and seeing what we can do against them.”
A rebuilding Mount Vernon Presbyterian squad remains in 5A, where the Mustangs will have to contend with Class A powerhouse Eagle’s Landing Christian and perennial state playoff team Landmark Christian.