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Football teams look at move up in classification
by Greg Oshust
November 26, 2013 03:17 PM | 1391 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal / Philip Markwalter and the rest of his Pace football teammates will be moving up to Class AA for the 2014 season.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal / Philip Markwalter and the rest of his Pace football teammates will be moving up to Class AA for the 2014 season.
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With the GHSA reclassification of schools for the next two years, beginning with the 2014-15 school year, several area football teams will be finding themselves in new classes when the 2014 season kicks off next fall.

Last year’s Class AAA runner-up St. Pius X will be facing the challenge of a higher classification as it moves up to AAAA.

The Golden Lions had their share of success during their previous stint in AAAA from 2000 to ’08, reaching the state semifinals in ’06 and the quarterfinals in ’03.

St. Pius coach Paul Standard said he is confident that his team can continue its success in the higher classification.

“I think we’ll be ok,” Standard said. “I definitely think that AAAA is tremendously strong now and will be that much stronger in the future. In some ways, it will be a little bit different. But in other ways, we’ll be competing against the same people and we will be competing against some people we competed against before we moved to AAA.”

Joining St. Pius in AAAA will be Woodward, which competed with the Golden Lions in Region 6AAA the last several years.

Westminster will be facing the challenge of a higher classification as well as it moves up to AAA from AA.

The Wildcats had an earlier successful run in AAA from 2000 to 2007, making the state playoffs in five of those eight years and reaching the quarterfinals in 2003.

Westminster is still familiar with AAA, having played four teams from that classification this season.

However, assistant coach Joe Sturniolo said the Wildcats are still not completely certain what will face them in their new class.

“The difference will be region play and until we see the regions, it’s hard to tell how that’s going to be,” Sturniolo said. “But it’s certainly something we’re ready to take on. Whether we play AA or we play AAA, it’s all right. We’ll just take it on.”

Pace and Holy Innocents’ will find themselves in AA in 2014 and are expected to join Lovett in their new region.

Holy Innocents’ actually began its football program during the school’s previous stint in AA – playing in that classification in its first two seasons on the gridiron in 2006 and 2007.

While Pace has also had a previous stint in AA, it will be the first time that it will play football in that class.

The school played its inaugural season in 2008 – which was its first year back in Class A after eight years in AA (2000-08).

“I think it’s good for the school and I think it’s good for more exposure,” Pace coach Chris Slade said. “It gives us another challenge and I accept the challenge. The good thing for us is that our region is going to consist of GAC, Holy Innocents’, Wesleyan and Lovett. Lovett could be a good neighborhood rivalry, if you will, because some of the Lovett kids know Pace kids, so that’s going to bring some attention to Buckhead to compete in football every year.”

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