Richmond Hill High School could be put in the state’s largest classification for high school sports next year based on enrollment numbers released recently by the Georgia Department of Education — but it won’t stay in Class AAAAAA if local officials can help it.
Both Bryan County Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Brooksher and school board Chairman Eddie Warren Thursday said the school will appeal if RHHS is put into Class AAAAA when the Georgia High School Association begins its work on reclassification next week.
“Oh, we’ll definitely appeal,” Warren said during a called Board of Education work session at the Richmond Hill Pre-K Center.
The latest round of reclassification, which takes place every two years and uses enrollment figures to put schools in classifications ranging from A, the smallest, to AAAAAA, is expected to take until January, according to a report published Monday by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and referred to Thursday night.
The issue arose when Assistant Superintendent Dr. Trey Robertson spoke of the Atlanta newspaper’s report and numbers that show Richmond Hill High’s enrollment of 1,832 students is projected to put it in the state’s highest classification for sports beginning in 2014.
That enrollment would make RHHS one of two schools at the bottom of the state’s top classification. By contrast, the largest school in Class AAAAAA is Mill Creek, with an enrollment of 3,708 — and there are six additional schools with more than 3,000 students.
“I’m just giving you a head’s up,” Robertson said. “It’s coming.”
At issue for Richmond Hill is travel, particularly for sports such as softball and basketball that traditionally play region opponents twice a season and often seek a neutral site for championship tournaments.
When Richmond Hill was in Region 3-AAA, the region’s basketball tournament was routinely held at Burke County High School in Waynesboro — a 106-mile trip one way.
With Effingham County High School, the only other AAAAAA school nearby, Richmond Hill could find itself having to play in Region 1-AAAAAA with schools such as Camden County, Lowndes County and Colquitt County.
Read more in the Nov. 16 edition of the News.