These are potential regions the TSSAA presented to the Board of Control for a five-class football system for the 2013-16 seasons. These are based on current enrollments. The 2013-16 regions would be based on enrollments 20 days into the fall semester.
Region 1: Cloudland, Hampton, Hancock County, North Greene, Unaka
Region 2: Coalfield, Greenback, Harriman, Jellico, Midway, Oakdale, Oneida, Sunbright, Wartburg Central
Region 3: Copper Basin, Grace Baptist, Huntland, Lookout Valley, Moore County, South Pittsburg, Whitwell
Region 4: Clay County, Friendship, Gordonsville, Middle Tennessee Christian, Monterey, Pickett County, Red Boiling Springs, Trousdale County, Watertown
Region 5: Clarksville Academy, East Robertson, Houston County, Jo Byrns, McEwen, Nashville Christian
Region 6: Collinwood, Columbia Academy, Cornersville, Eagleville, Mount Pleasant, Perry County, Richland, Summertown, Wayne County
Region 7: Bruceton, Dresden, Gleason, Greenfield, Huntingdon, Lake County, McKenzie, South Fulton, Union City, West Carroll
Region 8: Halls, Humboldt, Memphis Academy of Health Sciences, Memphis Northside, Middleton
Region 1: Cosby, Cumberland Gap, Gatlinburg-Pittman, Happy Valley, South Greene, Sullivan North
Region 2: Alcoa, Austin-East, Knoxville Grace Christian Oliver Springs, Rockwood, Sweetwater, Tellico Plains
Region 3: Bledsoe County, Boyd-Buchanan, Brainerd, Howard, Marion County, Meigs County, Polk County, Silverdale Baptist, Tyner
Region 4: Cannon County, Jackson County, Smith County, Upperman, Westmoreland, York
Region 5: Cascade, Community, East Hickman, Fairview, Forrest, Goodpasture, Harpeth, Hickman County, White House-Heritage
Region 6: Adamsville, Camden, Decatur County Riverside, Lewis County, Loretto, Scotts Hill, Waverly
Region 7: Central-Merry, Gibson County, Milan, Peabody, South Gibson, Trinity, Westview
Region 8: B.T. Washington, Frayser, George Washington Carver, Hillcrest, Manassas, Mitchell, Oakhaven, Trezevant, Westwood
Region 1: Chuckey-Doak, Elizabethton, Greeneville, Johnson County, Sullivan East, Unicoi County, West Greene
Region 2: Carter, Claiborne, Fulton, Grainger, Pigeon Forge, Union County
Region 3: Christian Academy of Knoxville, Kingston, Loudon, McMinn Central, Scott
Region 4: Chattanooga Christian, East Ridge, Grundy County, Hixson, Notre Dame, Red Bank, Sequatchie County, Signal Mountain
Region 5: Cheatham County, Creek Wood, Greebrier, Montgomery Central, Northeast, Stewart County, Sycamore, White House
Region 6: Christ Presbyterian, DeKalb County, East Literature, Giles County, Marshall County, Page, Pearl-Cohn, Spring Hill, Stratford
Region 7: Bolivar, Chester County, Crockett County, Dyersburg, Jackson South Side, Lexington, Liberty, McNairy, Obion County
Region 8: Covington, Fairley, Frederick Douglass, Hamilton, Melrose, Memphis East, Raleigh-Egypt, Sheffield
Region 1: Cherokee, Cocke County, David Crockett, Morristown, Sullivan Central, Sullivan South, Tennessee High, Volunteer
Region 2: Gibbs, Karns, Knoxville Catholic, Knoxville Central, Knoxville Halls, Seymour, South Doyle, West High
Region 3: Anderson County, Campbell County, Clinton, Cumberland County, Lenoir City, Oak Ridge, Stone Memorial
Region 4: Chattanooga Central, Cleveland, East Hamilton, Ooltewah, Rhea County, Sequoyah, White County
Region 5: Beech, Gallatin, Kenwood, Macon County, Maplewood, Northwest, Portland, Springfield, West Creek, Whites Creek
Region 6: Columbia, David Lipscomb, Glencliff, Hillsboro, Hillwood, Lawrence County, Shelbyville, Summit, Tullahoma
Region 7: Dyer County, Hardin County, Haywood, Jackson North Side, Ripley
Region 8: Craigmont, Kingsbury, Millington, Munford, Overton, Ridgeway
Region 1: Daniel Boone, Dobyns-Bennett, Jefferson County, Morristown, Science Hill, Sevier County
Region 2: Bearden, Farragut, Hardin Valley, Heritage, Maryville, Powell, William Blount
Region 3: Bradley Central, Coffee County, Franklin County, Lincoln County, McMinn County, Soddy-Daisy, Walker Valley, Warren County
Region 4: Blackman, Cookeville, La Vergne, Lebanon, Oakland, Riverdale, Siegel, Smyrna
Region 5: Clarksville, Dickson County, Hendersonville, Henry County, Mount Juliet, Rossview, Station Camp, Wilson Central
Region 6: Antioch, Brentwood, Cane Ridge, Centennial, Franklin, Hunters Lane, Independence, Overton, McGavock, Ravenwood
Region 7: Arlington, Bartlett, Bolton, Brighton, Cordova, Houston, Memphis Central
Region 8: Collierville, Germantown, Kirby, Southwind, White Station, Whitehaven, Wooddale
The TSSAA Board of Control voted Thursday to table the decision on classification until its next meeting, July 12.
After nearly two days of discussion, the board narrowed the likely choices to two, and the nine members decided they wanted to delay a final decision until after they had presented each scenario to the schools in their areas.
"I think the smartest thing is for all of us to go back and present the possibilities to the schools we represent and see how they feel," said Sequatchie County principal Tommy Layne, who represents the Chattanooga area on the board. "There are concerns with each potential way of doing it, and not everybody is going to be happy no matter what we decide."
The board likely will vote to keep the current three-classification system for every sport except football, and the decision for the state's top revenue-producing sport is whether to continue using the current plan, which has three classes for the regular season, then expands to six for the playoffs, or to return to the old five-class system. Whichever classification plan is voted in will go into effect for the 2013-17 school years.
A four-classification system for all sports was also discussed but didn't appear to have much support from the board. It would include increased travel for all sports and require every playoff format to be revamped.
"If it were just up to me, I would vote to keep things as they are," Layne said. "From a principal's standpoint, there is less travel involved for the schools right now. The biggest drawback is that the football coaches don't know who they play in the playoffs until after the last week of the season, and they don't like that."
The board also will vote in July on whether to continue using the enrollment multiplier for private schools that opt to not give need-based financial aid so that they can continue playing in the public school division. The state's current multiplier of 1.8 for those schools is the highest rate in the nation. Some states -- Arkansas, Georgia and Missouri included -- recently stopped using a multiplier for private schools.
There are 336 football playing schools in Tennessee, 303 of which play in Division I. If the board votes to keep the current classification system for football, enrollment figures show a dramatic change in Class 1A, where 10 schools would likely move up in class, leaving just 31 schools to vie for 24 playoff berths. Class 2A would go from 39 schools to 50, but there wouldn't be noticeable change in any other class.
Should the board choose to return to a five-class system, as was used for 15 years before changing in 2009, it will mean more than one fewer state champion being crowned. Such a move also would mean the regular-season league groupings would return to a region format, which also means more travel for all teams.
If that happens, no collection of area teams would be more hard-hit with extended travel than the 5A schools, which would include Bradley Central, McMinn County, Soddy-Daisy and Walker Valley. They likely would be placed in a region with Coffee County, Franklin County, Lincoln County and Warren County.
Under the current classification, the area's largest league of teams includes Bradley Central, Cleveland, McMinn County, Ooltewah, Rhea County, Soddy-Daisy and Walker Valley.
"The travel would really hurt us and most of the other programs," Bradley coach Damon Floyd said. "For me, I would rather keep it the same. We've built some good rivalries in our league now, and it's more fun to play people you know. And of course everybody needs money to run a program, and it would hurt us to travel that far and knowing they're not going to bring as many fans when they come to our place from so far away. It would kill our gates."
Aside from the classification issue, the board also voted to table a proposal to change the traditional state wrestling tournament into a Class AAA and A/AA format until November. The board denied a proposal to form Division II track into large- and small-school classifications.
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...