5 winners and 5 losers from the 2024-2025 AHSAA fall reclassification

5 winners and 5 losers from the 2024-2025 AHSAA fall reclassification

This is an opinion article

Here’s a look at five winners and five losers — a figure of speech, of course — in today’s AHSAA fall reclassification announcement.

Winners

Chelsea Football Club

After two tough years in tough Class 7A Region 3, the Hornets are back in Class 6A. Todd Cassity’s team went just 3-17 in two years of 7A. Over the next two years, the Hornets will compete in District 3 with Benjamin Russell, Calera, Chilton County, Helena, Pelham and Spain Park.

Bayside Soccer Academy

The Admirals football team drops from Class 4A to Class 3A. Bayside went 8-3 in 4A, District 1 in 2022 in Barrett Trotter’s first year as head coach. The Admirals drop down to 3A, 1 with Cottage Hill, Excel, Flomaton, Hillcrest-Evergreen, Monroe County and TR Miller. Ironically, the Bayside volleyball team moves up to 7A through competitive balance.

Robertsdale Football

For many struggling programs, moving up the rankings may not be what the doctor ordered. But for Robertsdale, falling out of Class 6A, Region 1 could bring a sigh of relief. The Golden Bears are just 4-26 in their last 30 district appearances, including 0-8 in 2023. They move up to 7A with Alma Bryant, Baker, Dafney, Davidson, Fairhope, Foley and reigning district champion Mary J. Montgomery.

Football fans in the Gadsden area

Gadsden City and Southside-Gadsden will compete in Class 6A, Region 8 for the next two seasons with Southside moving up from Class 5A. The two schools have not played since Emma Sampson, Litchfield and Gadsden High Schools merged to form Gadsden City after the 2005 season. Both are coming off two good seasons in 2023. Gadsden City went 9-4 and reached the 6A quarterfinals. Southside went 8-3 and was upset in the first round of the 5A playoffs by Boaz. Other teams in Class 6A, Region 8 are Buckhorn, Fort Payne, Hazel Green, Lee Huntsville and May Jemison.

Class 5A, District 2 Football Fans

District 2 teams Carroll, Charles Henderson, Eufaula, Greenville and Headland welcome the latest two Class 4A state champions in Montgomery Catholic and Andalusia. Catholic is 41-2 in three years under coach Kirk Johnson, including a perfect 2022 season. Andalusia is 24-3 the last two years including the 2022 state championship.

Losers

Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa, Prattville Football

Two perennially good programs move up to brutal Class 7A, Region 3. Hillcrest is 34-5 the last three years in Class 6A. Prattville, which struggled to 3-7 last season, moves from 7A, Region 2 to Region 3. Those two teams join Hewitt-Trussville, Hoover, Oak Mountain, Thompson, Tuscaloosa County and Vestavia Hills.

Gulf Shores Football

The Dolphins went 15-0 and won their first Class 5A state title in 2023. Their reward? Back in the always tough 6A District 1. Mark Hudspeth’s team will compete against Baldwin, Blount, McGill-Tulane, Murphy, Saarland, Spanish Fort, St. Paul and Theodore counties.

Jasper, Rehobeth Football

Both schools are making the jump from 5A to 6A. Rehobeth joins District 2 along with Park Crossing, Percy Julian, Pike Road, Russell County, Stanhope-Elmore and Wetumpka. Jasper will reside in District 7 with Athens, Columbia, Cullman, Decatur, Hartselle and Muscle Shoals. Jasper was just 1-9 a year ago in 5A, District 5. Rehobeth was 6-4 in 5A, District 2. Neither made the playoffs.

Class 7A, Region 3 volleyball teams

Fairhope, Foley and Robertsdale welcome powerhouse Bayside Academy to their area. Admiral An Shiling moved to Rank 7A through Competitive Balance. Their streak of 21 straight titles came to an end this fall and they will likely return more determined than ever in a new classification.

Football Hatton

Hatton jumps from 2A to 4A. The Hornets were 7-4 in Class 2A, Region 8 this year. The Denton Bowling Team lost 43-12 to Soligent in the first round of the playoffs. In Class 4A, Region 7, they will compete against Central Florence, Danville, Deshler, East Lawrence, West Limestone, West Morgan and Wilson.

Ben Thomas is the high school sports writer AL.com. He was named one of the Alabama Sportswriters Association’s 50 Legends. Follow him on Twitter at @BenThomasPreps or email him at bthomas@al.com. He can be heard weekly on “Inside High School Sports” on SportsTalk 99.5 FM on mobile or on the free IHeart Radio app at 2 p.m. on Wednesdays.

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