ECHS moves to 4A in 2010

Published 10:25 pm Sunday, November 8, 2009

By By Chandler Myers
The Alabama High School Athletic Association released the classifications for the 2010-2012 seasons Wednesday, with Escambia County High School moving from Class 5A, Region 1 to Class 4A, Region 1 in football and to Class 4A, Area in basketball.
With the move in classification, the Blue Devils are now slated to play region opponents, B.C. Rain, Jackson, Monroe County, Saraland, Thomasville, UMS-Wright and W.S. Neal in football. Their area opponents in basketball will be B.C. Rain, Saraland and UMS-Wright.
Blue Devils Athletic Director Kyle Davis said the move in classifications levels the playing field for his team, but not on a talent standard.
"On one side it levels the playing field for us because the issues we have had with depth will also play against our opponents," he said. "Competition wise the region we are in is still competitive with three teams, Thomasville, UMS-Wright and Jackson that could represent the southern part of the state in the Super Six this year."
Some of the region teams will be familiar to Davis as he coached the Blue Devils against Jackson, Monroe County, Thomasville and UMS-Wright before ECHS moved up to Class 5A.
Davis said one of the good things about the move back down to Class 4A is the rivalries that will be involved.
"As far as our region goes, it will be great to get some of the rivalries that we had built up with Monroe, Thomasville and UMS-Wright going again," he said. "Those will be big draws for our fans as well as our opponents fans because they are not that far away."
Teams that will be new to Davis are B.C. Rain and Saraland.
Davis said B.C. Rain is an athletic team, while Saraland will be a first-year program when it takes the field in 2010.
"B.C. Rain has a lot of good athletes that like to go out and play hard every game," he said. "They always give themselves a chance to win. Saraland will be interesting to watch because they are going to be in their first year, so we won't know what to expect from them."
With depth less of an issue in the move to Class 4A, Davis said he expects his team to compete at a higher level.
He said he was proud of the effort he received from his players while in Class 5A, but thinks if they had been in Class 4A things would have been different.
"We had games in Class 5A where we could have won if our depth would have been stronger," he said. "We were competitive in most of our games, but we just didn't have the energy to pull out four quarters against those deeper teams. In Class 4A, it will still be tough with UMS-Wright, Jackson and Thomasville all fighting for the top spot, but we will be in a much better position to compete with those teams because they will have to be concerned about their depth also."

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