Tentative Florida High School Athletic Association football district assignments were released for the next two seasons with minimal change for area teams.
No area school changed classifications despite slight variations in student enrollment ranges. The range alterations did move some around former district opponents, causing some groupings to shrink and others to grow.
Mosley will see the biggest impact with Crestview, Niceville and Navarre moving up to Class 7A. That leaves, for the time being, Fort Walton Beach, Choctawhatchee and Mosley in District 2-6A.
Mosley Athletic Director Danny Nagy said if a Pensacola school had been grouped in 2-6A then the Dolphins would have considered appealing for a classification change due to travel constraints. District 1-6A is comprised of six Pensacola-area teams and it’s unlikely the FHSAA would move teams it already slotted into different districts after appeals.
Schools within 10 percent of enrollment cutoffs can file appeals to move up or down. The appeal deadline was Friday. Mosley was within the 10-percent population range — 1,687 students as of the Fall 2012 report — to move down to District 1-5A (1,573 limit), which also has Bay County schools Arnold, Bay and Rutherford.
The latter three schools will be bunched with Gulf Breeze and Pensacola West Florida Tech in the same five-team district as the past two seasons. Defending 5A state champion Tallahassee Godby loomed on the horizon in District 2-5A, but the Cougars moved to 1-4A in joining Marianna, Taylor County, East Gadsden, Tallahassee Florida High and Walton.
Godby is within two students of the 1,033 cutoff in 4A and could petition to remain in 5A. Powerhouse Madison County moved up to 2-4A after playing in 3A and finishing as state runner-up the past two seasons, which creates a difficult potential playoff path for Marianna and the other teams in the region.
Rural Class 1A remained unchanged in Regions 1 and 2, which hosts 12 area schools. One change in Region 3 was former state champion Jefferson County being listed as an Independent. Jefferson County Athletic Director Terry Walker told the Tallahassee Democrat of the school’s desire to appeal and stay in 1A.
District alignments will be finalized by the FHSAA Board of Directors in the near-future.
Tentative district football alignments involving area teams for 2013-15:
District 2-1A: Cottondale, Graceville, Sneads, Vernon, Wewahitchka
District 3-1A: Bozeman, Chipley, Holmes County, South Walton
District 4-1A: Blountstown, Franklin County, Liberty County, Port St. Joe, West Gadsden
District 1-4A: East Gadsden, Florida High, Godby, Marianna, Walton
District 1-5A: Arnold, Bay, Gulf Breeze, Rutherford, West Florida Tech
District 2-6A: Choctawhatchee, Fort Walton Beach, Mosley