Bartow County high school sports rivalries may soon see an increase in importance and intensity.
The GHSA released on Tuesday its much anticipated reclassification alignments for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years, and the results have Cartersville, Cass and Woodland in the same classification, Class 5A. Of course, given their proximity to one another, the news means the three schools will likely be placed in the same region as each other for the next two school years.
Cartersville was the only Bartow County school to change classifications, as Adairsville remains in Class 3A and Cass and Woodland were already in Class 5A.
All classification alignments are subject to appeals, which will be heard on Nov. 12 by the GHSA reclassification committee. Regions within the eight classifications will not be announced until after the appeals process takes place.
The newly released classifications revealed the enrollment figures for each GHSA school. This cycle, classifications also were determined using a 2.0 multiplier, with each individual out-of-district student counting as two students in the GHSA’s reclassification count.
Adairsville, with a reclassification count of 979 — 954 total students and 25 out-of-district students— has the 48th-highest reclassification count out of 56 schools in Class 3A.
Cartersville, with a reclassification count of 1,746 — 1,467 total students and 279 out-of-district students — has the 16th-highest reclassification count out of 56 schools in Class 5A.
Cass, with a reclassification count of 1,521 — 1,486 total students and 35 out-of-district students — has the 45th-highest reclassification count out of 56 schools in Class 5A.
Woodland, with a reclassification count of 1,574 — 1,489 total students and 85 out-of-district students — has the 38th-highest reclassification count out of 56 schools in Class 5A.
Projecting which regions the Bartow athletic programs will be in can be tricky before the appeals process is completed. However, as the classifications currently stand, it would seem Cartersville, Cass, Woodland and Calhoun — moved up from Class 3A — would all likely be in the same region. Other potential region-mates could include Kell, Hiram, Villa Rica, Chapel Hill and Lithia Springs, depending on how many teams the reclassification committee places in the same region.
As for Adairsville, many of the teams in the Tigers' current region are still in Class 3A, including Coahulla Creek, Sonoraville, Murray County, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, Ringgold and North Murray. Other potential candidates to join the region would be LaFayette, which moved down from Class 4A with the reclassification, and Rockmart, which moved up from Class 2A.
Adairsville, Cass and Woodland are all toward the bottom of each classification in terms of enrollment figures. However, Cartersville, with its 279 out-of-district students being used as a multiplier, has a reclassification count in the top 30% of Class 5A.
Some anticipated a move to Class 6A for the Canes’ athletic programs, so administrators and coaches were pleased with the news they’ll only jump one classification instead of two. Competing in Class 5A will benefit Cartersville from a competition perspective playing against more like-sized programs, and it also will cut down on travel time with several Class 5A schools just a short bus trip away.
“I’m happy with it because our numbers were going to put us in 5A anyway; I just didn’t want the multiplier to push us over,” Cartersville athletic director Darrell Demastus said. “I don’t mind competing with anybody, but as far as travel goes, we’re in a lot better place than we were the last four years."