THOMASVILLE — Thomas County Central and Thomasville look to have a new classification homes for the 2022-24 school years, according to the Tuesday's announcement by the Georgia High School Association (GHSA).

According to the most recent enrollment numbers, Central would be reclassified into Class AAAAAA, the second-largest classification in the state. It would be quite the jump for an athletics program that is currently in Class AAAA, said Central athletic director Phillip Duplantis.

“Based on the enrollment growth at Thomas County Central High School and the 3.0 multiplier used this year for reclassification, our high school was placed in 6-A by the GHSA in the initial classification placement. Being in this region will mean playing schools that are almost twice our size in actual student enrollment along with more travel for our teams and fans,” Duplantis said in a statement. “We are planning to appeal this placement.”

Central's 2021 enrollment is 1,465 with an out-of-zone enrollment of 355, bringing its reclassification count to 2,175. If the Yellow Jackets stay in Class AAAAAA, they likely would be enrolled with other south Georgia schools Tift County and Lee County. They could be in the same region with Houston County, Northside-Warner Robins and Veterans.

Like Central, Thomasville High is moving up, to Class AAA. The Bulldogs' 2021 enrollment is 771 with an out-of-zone enrollment of 151, bringing its reclassification count to 1,073. It likely would join South Georgia schools Dougherty, Monroe, Crisp County and potentially Sumter County in a new-look Region 1.

“As far we're concerned, wherever they tell us we're going to play, we're going to play,” Thomasville athletic director Jeremy Rayburn said. “We're going to do the best we can to be competitive in everything we've got. It's one of those deals, the numbers are what the numbers are. There's not a lot we can do about it as far as that goes.”

Cairo is slated to stay in Class AAAA, joining current members Westover and Bainbridge. Cairo's 2021 enrollment is 1,288 with an out-of-zone enrollment of 19, bringing its reclassification count to 1,326.

According to the GHSA announcement, the reclassification committee will hear appeals regarding placement and requests of schools to play in a higher classification on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 10 a.m.  in the GHSA office. No appeals or requests will be accepted if not submitted prior to 11 a.m. on Nov. 9.

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