After spending the past few years in Class 4A, another change could be on the horizon for LaFayette High School's athletic program.

The GHSA released its preliminary reclassification plan on Tuesday and based on enrollment figures, LaFayette has been reclassified from Class 4A down to Class 3A.

All schools will have until Monday, Nov. 11th at 4 p.m. to appeal its new classification or to request to play up into a higher classification. The Reclassification Committee will hear appeals starting at 9 a.m., on Tuesday, Nov. 12. No school can elect to play down in classification.

After appeals are heard, the GHSA will then place schools into their new regions. That realignment is scheduled to take place around the first part of December.

Another round of appeals will then be heard as some schools may ask to be transferred laterally from one region to another in their new classifications. The GHSA Executive Committee will then ratify the new region alignments once all the appeals have been ruled upon sometime in January.

Although LaFayette was the only school from Walker or Catoosa County to be placed in a new classification for the 2020-2022 reclassification cycle, there will be some major changes for teams around the state, including several schools nearby.

Some of the most notable local changes involved city schools Calhoun, Cartersville, Carrollton and Rome as the GHSA implemented a 2.0 multiplier, which applied to out-of-zone students.

As a result, Calhoun will be moving from Class 3A to Class 5A, while Cartersville will jump from Class 4A to Class 5A. Carrollton and Rome, along with another city school power in Buford, will all be moved to Class 6A. Those three schools are currently in Class 5A.

Other changes involving northwest Georgia schools will see Haralson County, currently a member of Region 6 in Class 3A, drop to Class 2A, while Rockmart will be bumped to Class 3A from Class 2A. The Jackets are currently ranked as one of the top three teams in Class 2A in the state football polls.

Most of the larger private schools in the state of Georgia will also be moving up in classification starting next fall. Greater Atlanta Christian is being moved up to Class 4A, Woodward Academy and Blessed Trinity will bump to Class 5A, while St. Pius X has been reclassified as a 6A school. Marist currently remains in Class 4A, but could opt to move up to join the larger private schools.

LaFayette was not the only Class 4A school to drop to Class 3A. Mary Persons, Oconee County, Sandy Creek, Thomson and Stephens County were among those dropping down one level.

Gordon Lee, along with Trion, will be staying in Class 1A. Schools with 550 students or less were automatically placed in Class 1A. Among the schools reclassified as 1A include Armuchee, who is currently in Class 2A.

Schools in Classes 1A and 7A were classified based only on their FTE or enrollment numbers because the rules adopted by the Executive Committee do not allow schools to be forced up into 7A or out of 1A because of the multiplier. Schools in Classes 2A through 6A were classified based on their student reclassification count, using the multiplier.

Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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