AHSAA changes its football mind again

Published 8:36 am Wednesday, August 9, 2006

By Staff
Forget the old saying &#8220it is a woman's prerogative to change her mind.” It more accurately applies to the Alabama High School Athletic Association.
Last spring the AHSAA announced its classification and football region alignment only to change it again a few days later. That had big ramifications on Class 4A Region 1, where both T.R. Miller and W.S. Neal were placed, at least in terms of geography.
Andalusia, which is about 50 miles away, was placed in the original alignment. The revised region took Andalusia out and put in Southside-Selma. Selma is close to a 150-mile trip.
The latest revision revolves the football playoff bracket. Region 1, which also included Escambia County, Hillcrest-Evergreen, Jackson, Thomasville, Monroe County and Southside-Selma, was originally paired up against Region 2. Region 2 includes Alabama Christian, Andalusia, Ashford, Bullock County, Daleville, Opp, Saint James and Trinity Presbyterian.
That alignment made for some potential interesting postseason matchups for both T.R. Miller and W.S. Neal. It also made for much shorter postseason road trips.
Now the AHSAA has switched things again and paired Region 1 up against Region 4. Region 4 includes Central Tuscaloosa, Fayette County, Greene County, Holt, Jemison, Livingston, Northside and Oak Grove.
While about a 140-mile trip to Bullock County or 120-mile jaunts to the Montgomery area were the longest road trips under the original postseason bracket, most of the Region 4 schools are 150-200 miles away.
With fuel costs being what they currently are, shouldn't the state do what it can to cut down travel expenses?
The state is consistent with its playoff brackets in that the same regions are paired against each other in each class. For example, Region 1 is now paired up against Region 4 in all six classes. The travel is not that bad for some of the classes.
However, it can cause some unnecessary lengthy travel for other classes such as is now the case in 4A. There should be separate brackets for each class based on geography for the opening round.
The rest of the playoff bracket has also been switched around.
Region 2 is now paired up against Region 3, which contains Beauregard, Central-Coosa, Childersburg, Cleburne County, Dadeville, Elmore County, Handley and Holtville. Regions 1 through 4 make up the top half of the playoff bracket.
The bottom half of the bracket now pits Region 5 against Region 8. Region 6 is now paired up with Region 7.