Schools await word on reclassification

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

North Pontotoc athletics officials will anxiously await the Mississippi High School Activities Association’s division and region alignment changes later this month.
The Vikings have had one of the smaller programs in 4A the last two seasons. A move to 3A would make them one of the classification’s larger schools.
North Pontotoc’s enrollment for the 2012-13 school year is 463 students, according to figures released Thursday by the State Department of Education.
“We’ve been pretty competitive in 4A,” said North Pontotoc softball and girls basketball coach Shane Montgomery. “Wherever we wind up, it’s pick your poison. In 4A (softball) we’ve got New Albany and Corinth. In 3A, we’ve got Mooreville and Nettleton.”
When the MHSAA changes its classification alignments later this month, North Pontotoc is one of five schools that could be either 4A or 3A for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years.
The others in the mix are Ripley, Houston, School of Math and Science and Sumrall.
“We’re going to wait and see what it does,” Ripley football coach Chad Cook said.
The state’s two largest classes, 5A and 6A, will have 32 teams each. The MHSAA would like to have 48-50 teams in 4A, 3A and 2A.
“You shoot for approximately 48,” said Todd Kelly, the MHSAA director of development.
The MHSAA re-aligns its classes every two years based on updated enrollment figures. The new alignments will be released on the football championship weekend – Nov. 30-Dec. 1.
Mantachie is expected to drop from 3A to 2A with its enrollment down to 259 students. Football head coach Lynn Moore welcomes the Mustangs’ pending move to the smaller classification.
“That’s where Mantachie had always been,” Moore said, referring to 2A. “When you’re one of the smallest teams in any classification it’s not good.
“We do welcome the change. We anticipated it happening.”
There will be a few newcomers in 6A next season with the return of Starkville and the addition of Hernando and Jackson Provine.
Oxford, Saltillo and West Point remain Northeast Mississippi’s lone 5A schools.

List of projected MHSAA classifications for 2013-15 in today’s NEMS Daily Journal.

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