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New Rivalries: Douglas programs find familiar foes in realignment
by Marcel Pourtout
mpourtout@neighbornewspapers.com
January 22, 2014 11:31 AM | 1019 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
File Photo<br>Alexander’s Andrew Lewis takes possession of the ball during soccer practice last season. Alexander’s sports teams will move up a classification and begin competition in a Class 5A region with other county high schools in the fall.
File Photo
Alexander’s Andrew Lewis takes possession of the ball during soccer practice last season. Alexander’s sports teams will move up a classification and begin competition in a Class 5A region with other county high schools in the fall.
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The Georgia High School Association announced last Tuesday the region alignments for each of its programs for the next two academic years starting in the fall of 2014 and concluding the spring of 2016.

The five programs in Douglas each experienced significant changes to their individual region makeups.

The largest adjustments came in Region 5-AAAAA which retained Lithia Springs and New Manchester. However, two Douglas programs will join the region; Chapel Hill, which moves up from Class 3A and Alexander, going up one class after spending the past two years in 4A. The other region members will be Carroll County program Villa Rica along with Allatoona, Paulding County, East Paulding, Hiram and South Paulding.

“We’re excited about our region,” New Manchester athletic director Shawn Bissell said. “The overall economics of high school athletics are struggling and this is our best-case scenario. It’s most beneficial that our rivalries remain intact and transportation costs are reduced.”

Lithia Springs athletic director Alton Bias said, “We like it very much because the Douglas county coaches and [athletic directors] have wanted to cut down on travel and preferred to play all of the county schools along with Paulding county programs.”

Alexander has been the lone representative from Douglas in Region 5-AAAA the past two years. Prior to this, the Cougars’ program had been placed in regions with fellow county schools.

“We’re excited to be back in a region with other county schools and closer to neighboring school districts,” Cougars’ athletic director Chris Small said. “We’ve had difficult long travel nights during the school week to schools such as LaGrange and Columbus. We look forward to rekindling some rivalries with programs we’ve been grouped together with in the past.”

Douglas County will stay in Class 6A and was assigned Region 4, joining Campbell, East Coweta, Langston Hughes, Newnan, Pebblebrook, South Cobb and Westlake.

“We would like to be in the region with other county schools for financial reasons,” Douglas County athletic director Andre Weaver said. “Our students come to the games when we play county rivals. We want the challenge to play great teams and the opportunity to make some money.”

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