TSSAA shuffles teams, districts with impact beginning in fall '09
Stephanie Sturgis - Press Sports Editor
Posted: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 5:06 pm
Starting with the 2009 football season, Weakley County high school teams will square off against some new teams to determine their district champs.
The TSSAA Board of Control voted on Thursday to make changes in the district alignments which will impact athletic teams for the next four years.
Unlike the past, the new districts will cover all sports including football, basketball, softball and baseball.
The board opted to add a football championship, increasing the number of Division I gridiron titles from five to six. At the end of the regular season, all three classes will be divided creating the six titles with the larger schools in Class 3A splitting to crown the 6A and 5A champs, Class 2A splitting into 4A and 3A and Class A halving to create the 2A and A championships.
Westview will be vying for the 3A football title. Dresden will compete for the 2A crown and Gleason and Greenfield will chase the A championship.
Now all football classifications will follow the "Z Plan" which only Class 2A utilized in 2007 and now again in 2008. The top two football teams in each district will gain an automatic postseason berth. Half of the teams in each classification in each district will advance to the postseason. The rest of the football playoff slots will be filled via a wildcard system.
Due to school population shifts that saw several metropolitan schools in Chattanooga and the Nashville area dropping from Class AAA into Class AA, the 16 Class AA districts were redrawn. Formerly there were three Class AA districts in northwest Tennessee, but now the total has been reduced to two.
"The demographics of 2A schools on a state-wide basis created the change," said Chuck West, Dresden High School principal and one of nine members of the Board of Control.
Starting fall 2009, Westview — the lone Class AA competitor in Weakley County — will compete in District 13-AA against Covington, Crockett County, Dyersburg, Gibson County, Haywood, Milan, Obion County and Ripley. In football, Westview will be considered a 3A team as will Gibson County and Milan. All other schools in District 13-AA will compete for the 4A football crown.
Because several of the Carroll County schools don't have football teams, Dresden and Gleason have been shifted into District 13-A in order to provide more gridiron competition.
"One part of the equation that created the movement was balance because five of the 24 Class A teams in northwest Tennessee don't play football," West said.
Dresden and Gleason will be joined by Big Sandy, Carroll Academy, Clarksburg, Bruceton, Huntingdon, McKenzie and West Carroll in District 13-A. Dresden and McKenzie are the only teams vying for the 2A football title. Gleason, Bruceton, Huntingdon and West Carroll will fall into the A group in football competition. Big Sandy, Carroll Academy and Clarksburg do not field football teams.
Greenfield will remain in District 14-A and compete against Bradford, Humboldt, Halls, Lake County, Peabody, South Fulton and Union City in all sports. Teams competing for the A state football title will be Greenfield, Halls, Lake County, South Fulton and Union City. Humboldt and Peabody rise to the 2A level, while Bradford does not have a football team.