Reclassification set for MAIS, MHSAA programs

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, November 9, 2022

The two-year reclassification cycle has wrapped up for both Midsouth Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) and Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) member schools in the area.

For the past two years, Brookhaven Academy has participated in the 4A classification of MAIS football, while being a 5A school in all other sports.

That’ll change with the 2023-2024 school year when BA makes the full jump to 5A status as a result of the football program going up a classification.

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The Cougars will be one of the smallest schools in the 5A football classification and will play in in a much stiffer district than their current home of District 4-4A.

Joining BA in District 3-5A will be Adams County Christian School, Cathedral School, Oak Forest Academy, Parklane Academy and Silliman Institute.

Parklane has the advantage of being one of the largest 5A schools in the state after dropping down from the 6A classification.

The six largest schools in the association are put in the MAIS 6A classification. That list includes Jackson Prep, Jackson Academy, Madison-Ridgeland Academy, Hartfield Academy, Presbyterian Christian Academy and St. Joseph Catholic in Madison.

St. Joe-Madison came over to the MAIS from the MHSAA two years ago and they’re replacing Parklane in the 6A ranks.

Brookhaven Academy’s closest neighbor to the north, Copiah Academy, will play in District 2-5A along with East Rankin Academy, Lamar School of Meridian, Leake Academy and Simpson Academy.

The changes coming to MHSAA athletics included the creation of a new 7A classification.

The rational for creating a new class was to create more balance in the higher classifications so that schools with nearly 2,000 students wouldn’t be playing in the same 6A class with schools that have an enrollment closer to 900.

The local school that reaped the most benefit from this shifting up and down the classes will be 5A Brookhaven High School.

So far, only football regions have been released, but BHS fans are excited about getting rid of some heavyweights from what had been a loaded Region 3-5A.

Gone are former division foes West Jones, Laurel, Hattiesburg and Wayne County.

In the new Region 3-5A, BHS will continue to play Florence, Natchez and South Jones. Also joining the region will be North Pike and Provine High of Jackson.

Region 4, which is a more coastal-based region, will include East Central of Hurley, Gautier, Laurel, Stone High, Vancleave High and Wayne County.

There isn’t much change for 4A member school Lawrence County as they’ll stay in Region 7-4A, but will lose Poplarville High to a different region.

Members of Region 7 with LC include Columbia, Forrest County AHS, Purvis and Sumrall — schools already in the region with the Cougars this season.

Wesson is another school that won’t be displeased with it’s move as the Cobras are getting a new set of opponents in a move to Region 7-3A. Joining Wesson in Region 7 will be Franklin County, Jefferson County, Port Gibson and South Pike.

The most locally focused division, Region 7-2A, will still be home to Bogue Chitto, Loyd Star and West Lincoln. The region will also retain Amite County, but East Marion has moved down to 1A and will be replaced by Wilkinson County.

The lone local 1A school, Enterprise, will be a member of Region 8-1A along with East Marion, Lumberton, Resurrection Catholic of Pascagoula, Sacred Heart of Hattiesburg and Salem Attendance Center.

The changes that go into effect next school year will be for the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 athletic seasons.