UPDATE: ECHS stays in Class 4A

Published 3:19 pm Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A host of Blue Devils defenders take down a Monroe County Tiger during the Blue Devils’ 33-0 homecoming win on Friday night in Atmore. The Blue Devils improved to 4-5 with their win over Monroe County.|Photo by Chandler Myers

News of the new classifications were announced Wednesday morning by the Alabama High School Athletic Association in Montgomery.

Football was the primarily watched sport for the classifications because of several big moves, especially in Escambia County High School’s region.

Escambia County, which was rumored to be on the edge of Class 4A and 5A, remained in Class 4A Region 1 with the likes of Thomasville, UMS-Wright and Monroe County.

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New to their region are Andalusia, Wilcox-Central, Hillcrest-Evergeen and Clarke County.

The Andalusia Bulldogs were swapped over from Class 4A Region 2 after it was discovered that Pope John Paul II out of Huntsville was inadvertently left off of the initial list on Wednesday, Escambia County head coach Mark Heaton said.

“They had to make some changes yesterday when it was discovered they left off Pope John Paul II, which begins varsity play this year,” he said. “When they made that change, they shuffled up some regions and placed St. Paul’s as the largest 4A school back into 5A and pushed Chelsea up into 6A. For us, it really doesn’t change anything because it just keeps brings another talented team into our region.”

The new classifications, which moves four teams from this year’s Region 1, create a ripple effect because of how many teams moved, but the competition level remains the same with each new team looked at as a trade off.

This year’s region champion, Jackson, moves up to Class 5A Region 3, while B.C. Rain and Saraland move to Class 5A Region 1. W.S. Neal is the lone team to move down going to Class 3A Region 1 joining rival T.R. Miller.

UPDATE: The AHSAA announced two classification changes yesterday afternoon with St. Paul’s moving back up to Class 5A Region 1 and Chelsea High School moving from Class 5A Region 4 to Class 6A Region 4. Andalusia moves over from Class 4A Region 2 into Region 1 with ECHS.