No change: BHS remains in 4A

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 2, 2002

Brookhaven will remain in Class 4A for at least two more schoolyears. According to the latest projected enrollment figures for the2003-04 and 2004-05 academic/athletic periods released by theMississippi High School Activities Association, Brookhaven’s791-student enrollment for grades 9-12 places BHS nearly 250students below the Class 5A level.

If you are a football coach, the more students in school meansthe more athletes available. In the current Region 6-4A format,Brookhaven is the second largest school, next to Terry’s 940students. McComb is third with 786 and South Pike is fourth with627. Lawrence County is fifth with 606.

Guess who’s missing.

Port Gibson and Raymond have returned to Class 3A. The 4A cutoffis Houston with 535 students. Port Gibson has 528 and Raymondclaims 474, two ahead of Jefferson County.

If you are keeping count, there were eight regions in Class 4Athe last two years. That provided seven teams to a region and atotal of 56 teams.

If the MHSAA decides to continue that format, two more teamswill be added to Brookhaven’s Region 6-4A. Closest 4A teamscurrently outside of Region 6-4A are located in the Jackson area.That could mean either Provine, Lanier, Callaway, Jim Hill, Cantonor Pearl joining 6-4A.

Columbia, one of the closest 4A opponents the past two years,has dropped to Class 3A with 521 students. It’s a numbers game andschool officials will fight to the death to avoid being placed inparticular regions.

Lawrence County is on the eastern edge of Region 6-4A.Geographically speaking, the Cougars might get sent to Region 5which included Mendenhall, South Jones, Quitman, Northeast Jones,Florence, Northeast Lauderdale and Magee. In case you missed it,Magee has dropped to Class 3A, so the Trojans, 1-9 in football thisseason, will find more friendly territory.

Region 7-3A, featuring Franklin County, North Pike, Hazlehurst,Crystal Springs, Wilkinson County, Amite County and JeffersonCounty, should remain unchanged. Port Gibson, a former member,would like to move there again.

In Region 6-2A, Wesson, Loyd Star, McLaurin, St. Andrew’s, HindsAHS and Madison St. Joseph competed this season and last. Thequintet remain in 2A.

In Class 1A, Enterprise-Lincoln was expected to move up to 2Abut enrollment figures are down a few students so the YellowJackets are locked in Region 4-1A, along with Mize, Mt. Olive,Stringer, Dexter, Salem, Bogue Chitto, West Lincoln, Vicksburg St.Aloysius and Natchez Cathedral. Mize, with 211 students, is tiedwith Coffeeville for highest enrollment in 1A. Scott Central isthird with 210 students and Union is fourth with 209.

If you enjoy numbers, Cathedral has 199 students, West Lincoln187, St. Aloysius 151, Stringer 162, Salem 161, Bogue Chitto 138and Dexter 106. Harrison Central of Gulfport has the highest Class5A enrollment with 2245 students and Mississippi School for theBlind the smallest in 1A at 24.

A few tremors were felt across the Magnolia State when theenrollment figures were released. Wayne County, a recognizedpowerhouse in Class 5A, is dropping to 4A with 1029 students.Petal, with 1023 students, also has plunged to 4A. So has Callawaywith 1001.

Moving up to 5A are Grenada (1101), Picayune (1072) and WestPoint (1030). West Point is the smallest of the 32 Class 5Amembers.

The MHSAA will release the proposed Region lineups beforeJanuary and schools will have a brief period to appeal. It shouldbe interesting.

Only 20 teams remain in the MHSAA state football playoffs.Tonight the North and South Mississippi champions will bedetermined in all five classifications.

In Class 5A, South Panola (13-0) visits Southaven (10-3) andWayne County (12-1) tours Oak Grove (12-1). In Class 4A,D’Iberville (11-1) hosts George County (11-2) and West Point (11-2)visits Grenada (11-1). In Class 3A, Amory (9-4) is at Corinth(13-0) and Newton County (13-0) is at Collins (13-0).

In Class 2A, Baldwyn (12-1) is at Eupora (12-1) and Gulfport St.John (11-2) is at Taylorsville (10-3). In Class 1A, Calhoun City(11-2) visits Weir (13-0) and Puckett (11-1) visits Union (10-3).State championship games will be played next Friday and Saturday atMississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson.

Region 6-4A has enjoyed a strong run in the state playoffs forthe last few years. Lawrence County won the 4A state title in 1999,going 14-0 under former head coach Danny Adams. McComb claimed the2000 state title and Lee Bramlett retired as coach of the Tigers.South Pike, coached by Greg Wall, was runner-up to Clarksdale in2001.

Brookhaven, under the direction of first-year head coach TuckerPeavey, reached the South State semifinals last Friday beforelosing 31-7 to an outstanding D’Iberville team. Hopefully, Region 6will continue its strong showing in the state playoffs nextyear.