The GHSA executive committee passed the proposal to expand the association from five to six classifications by a 26-24 vote in May. All of the teams in DeKalb County were affected by the change.
The biggest change in the county occurred when Druid Hills moved from Class AAA to Class AAAAAA.
Druid Hills head coach Kip Hall said he is ready for the challenge of being a part of the biggest classification.
“We are excited about this year,” Hall said. “Lovejoy, of course, has a great team coming back from last year’s runner-up team. It will be a great challenge with all the teams now in our region.”
Hall said the Red Devils should be ready for that challenge.
“We feel ready because we left a region that in my mind was one of the toughest in the state regardless of classification. That 5AAA was very competitive from top to bottom.”
The reclassification effort bumped Dunwoody, Lakeside and Tucker up to Class AAAAA and into a region with Stephenson.
The Tigers and Jaguars had been scrimmaging against each other for the past several years. Now the two squads get to meet when it counts in region play.
The teams will be in Region 6AAAAA and will play only one non-region game as part of the new DeKalb super region.
Chamblee, Marist and Redan stayed put in Region 6AAAA, but now have the luxury of a subregion to determine the champion rather than a super region with no non-region games.
Joining this trio in 6AAAA will be Stone Mountain, who is moving back up to AAAA after two years in AAA.
“This is no big deal for us,” Stone Mountain head coach Dante Ferguson said. “There are a few new faces and a few old faces. We will have to step our game up and compete hard.”
Ferguson said his team is ready to square off with Marist again.
“We kind of have a history with Marist and we are happy to have them back on the schedule,” Ferguson said. “That will be a big game for us.”
Ferguson said the reclassification effort by the GHSA may have hurt the playoff chances for some DeKalb County teams.
“The unfortunate part about having a lot of the top teams in DeKalb County in Region 6AAAAA like Tucker, Southwest DeKalb and Stephenson is you only have four teams that will come out of that region,” Ferguson said. “There are at least eight teams in that region that can make the playoffs and probably do some damage.”
Ferguson said it may be negative for the county, but it could be positive for the playoffs in general.
“It is kind of unfair for our county, but at the same time you will get the best of the best,” he said. “They should represent well when they get to the playoffs.”