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The Madison Academy Mustangs with head coach Bob Godsey will move down to Class 4A for the 2020 football season as the AHSAA released its new sports classifications for the next two school years. Photo Contributed

New High School Classifications Changes Present Only One Change Within Local Schools

MADISON- The Central Board of Control of the Alabama High School Athletic Association has approved the new classification lineup for the school years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Schools across Alabama will be classified in one of the seven classes with Class 7A being the largest.

Both Bob Jones and James Clemens of Madison and nearby Sparkman High will remain in Class 7A while Madison Academy will drop to Class 4A in the new classification period. The Mustangs were listed as Class 4A in 2016, but due to the Competitive Balance factor assigned to member private school, the Huntsville-Madison based private school was lifted to Class 5A for most of its athletic programs, including football.

The re-classification, conducted every two years, is based on average daily enrollment numbers for the first 20 school days after Labor Day. The last enrollment numbers showed Sparkman as the fourth largest school in Alabama while James Clemens was No. 11 and Bob Jones No. 16.

Madison Academy was in the hunt for state championships five times from 2011-2016 in Class 3A winning three straight from 2012-2014. In 2016 the private school moved to Class 4A and then Class 5A in 2018 with the competitive balance factor thrown in. In the two seasons among the larger school classification, the Mustangs were 15-6 and made the playoffs both seasons, but did fall to a 5-6 record in the just completed 2019 season.

In 2020, second-year head coach Bob Godsey will be looking forward to challenge in the new classification. He said, “From a numbers standpoint, I hope we matchup better in 4A. However, the mission of this program remains the same- we must improve. Our schedule will feature tough competition within the region and non-region games.”

Not only did Madison Academy win state titles in 2012, 2013 and 2014, the program was runner-up in both 2011 and 2016.

The new alignment for football places the 32 largest high schools in Class 7A. The Central Board of the AHSAA also approved the sports alignments for other fall sports volleyball, cross country and swimming. Winter and spring sports alignments will be announced at later dates.

The Executive Director of the AHSAA, Steve Savarese, said, “This is something that must be done every two years. It was a challenging task, but everyone on the Central Board worked together to find the best solution as we move forward.”

The AHSAA functioned with a six-classification system from 1984 to 2014 and have been grouped in seven classifications ever since. The schools were grouped in a four-classification system from 1964-1983 and a two-classification system from 1947-1964. Prior to 1947, the AHSAA had just one classification system.

The reclassification enrollment and alignment data for the sports of football, volleyball, cross country and swimming can be found at www.ahsaa.com.

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