Moving on up

Published 5:20 am Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Flomaton, Mobile Christian move up to 3A, Escambia County drops to 4A

After the 2016 reclassification announcement last week, notable newcomers were added to the Class 3A region one group.

Flomaton and Mobile Christian will move up from 2A to 3A region one, joining a group that includes Bayside Academy, Cottage Hill, Excel, Hillcrest Evergreen and T.R. Miller. Clarke County will drop from 4A to join the group as well.

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TRM and Flomaton met up for the first time back in 1928. Flomaton won 30-18.

The most recent game the two schools faced off in head to head was on Nov. 6, 1970, in Flomaton. TRM went on to win, 38-0.

Last time Flomaton defeated Miller was in 1963, under head coach Frank Lynn with a score of 14-7. With the win Flomaton continued a four game winning streak against the Tigers.

Overall TRM leads the matchup with 29 wins. Flomaton has won seven times. The two teams tied once in 1950 with a score of 6-6.

The Tigers are coming off a 10-3 season, in which they went undefeated in the region. The Tigers advanced to the quarterfinals before coming up short to Hillcrest-Evergreen 25-22.

TRM is graduating 13 seniors, including all-state selections center, Jake Najor and wide receiver Chardian Johnson.

In their backfield the Tigers will lose running backs Ahmaud Taylor and Markail Mitchell who both eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark on the ground.

On the defensive side the team will lose defensive leadership from Tripp Floyd at linebacker and Tamerick Jenkins in the secondary.

Flomaton head coach Doug Vickery has been at the helm since 2006. This past season the Hurricanes were 10-3, advancing to the quarterfinals of the playoffs before falling to G.W. Long, 35-21.

Flomaton will graduate 11 seniors, including all-state selections Cade Vickery and James Harris; and playmakers Andrew Cash, Terrell Flavors and Jamel Grace. Flavors led the team with five interceptions in 2015 and Grace sits as the second leading rusher in school history after rushing for 1,461 yards this past season.

Mobile Christian went 10-2 last season before losing to G.W. Long in the second round of the playoffs. The team defeated Flomaton this past season 42-41 in double overtime. Mobile Christian is 5-4 overall against Flomaton and has never faced TRM.

Clarke County went 4-7 this past season, falling to Leeds in the first round of the playoffs 43-0.  TRM is 31-3 against Clarke County. Flomaton is 1-1, with the most recent game between the two teams dating back to 1968. Clarke County is 2-0 against Mobile Christian, with games dating back to 2006 and 2007.

On the reclassification announcement, Escambia County Superintendent John Knott said the moves of Flomaton to 3A and Escambia County to 4A should make for competitive football.

“We were the smallest 5A school in the state,” Knott said concerning Escambia County. “It’s kind of ironic. Flomaton was the largest 2A and Escambia County was the smallest 5A. In that 5A class they were playing schools that had much larger enrollments, and it was a challenge to compete in that league with those numbers.”

A decrease of 30 students allowed Escambia County High School to drop from the state’s smallest 5A school to 4A. Escambia County will join region one schools Andalusia, Monroe County, Satsuma, Thomasville, UMS-Wright and W.S. Neal.

On Escambia County’s drop to 4A Escambia County superintendent John Knott said the move will be great for the school.

“I’m really excited that we will play some schools that will be closer to our geographical area”,” Knott said.

“And since we’ve got another county 4A school  [W.S. Neal], it makes for competitive sports. I expect this to be a positive for the community.”

The reclassification will go into affect in the Fall of 2016.