By Ed Greif
The TSSAA posted enrollment figures Oct. 3 for its member institutions to be used to set classifications for the next four school years — 2013-'17.
The state office will send out letters this week to all schools giving them the opportunity to move to Division II. They have until noon, Oct. 16, to move into Division II.
Three things will happen on Oct. 16. Schools will be divided into Divisions I and II, the multiplier (1.8) will be applied to Division I independent schools and schools will be divided and set enrollment breakpoints.
No school can be moved up more than one class in any sport due to the multiplier.
On Oct. 17, letters will be sent to all schools giving them an opportunity to move to higher classification. That deadline is Oct. 24. The staff will prepare districts and regions and send to the TSSAA Board of Control members. This will be followed by recommendations to all member schools and posted at tssaa.org.
The Board will meet Nov. 15 to set the districts and regions for the next four years.
Any school which has no sports programs, who co-ops with other schools, will be removed. Schools will be sorted by enrollment and divided into Classes A, AA and AAA in Division, as well as Class A/AA in sports with only two classes.
There are 16 schools, including the Phoenix School, who co-op with other schools, which will be removed before the process begins. I counted 31 schools who play in Division II football; however, Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) and Knox Catholic are playing in Division I because of the multiplier.
There are 19 Division IIA football teams and 12 Division IIAA schools have football.
It would be better if all of the private schools would be placed into Division II.
CCHS' enrollment showed 1,045 students, while SMHS was at 1,089.
There have been rumors that District 6AAA — Cookeville (2163), Warren County (1821), Coffee County (1626) and White County (1161), along with CCHS — could be broken up.
Coffee County is rumored to be going west into a district with Tullahoma, Franklin County, etc., while Cookeville is rumored to be going into a district with Wilson Central, Lebanon and the Murfreesboro schools.
Should CCHS' enrollment drop them into Class AA, it is possible SMHS will replace them in District 6AAA with White County, Warren County and Cookeville.
SMHS' current District 4AA membership is Alcoa (546), Kingston (693), Loudon (769), Scott County (807) and CAK (428).
Livingston (1006), York (669), Sequoyah (955) and Bledsoe County (588) are currently in AA.
The TSSAA will divide each classification (A, AA and AAA) into 16 districts and eight regions.
We'll see how this plays out over the next six weeks.
The elementary football season is over, after Crab Orchard defeated South 26-12 for the county title Oct. 2 on Holder Field.
Now is the time for the principals, director of schools, board of education and high school football coaches to sit down and figure out a way to improve the elementary program, especially since the local officials group has informed the principals they would no longer be calling games next year and the fact numbers are somewhat down.
Low numbers and injuries forced Martin to forfeit a couple of games are other factors to be considered.
Going to two teams — one for players zoned to CCHS and one for players zoned for SMHS — is the best route to take and allows the teams to play middle school teams in the surrounding area. There will be pros and cons for this.
This is the 21st century, folks. Something needs to be done before you lose the entire elementary program. The board of education needs to enforce their zoning.
I've harped about this until I'm blue in the face and will continue to do so until something is resolved.
Another concern is elementary basketball.
Elementary football ended last week and the junior varsity basketball season opens Thursday night. At least, give the kids a break before starting basketball, whether it's JV or varsity. The JV season will end Nov. 15 with tournament championship at Brown.
Elementary basketball players are almost going year round because of AAU and travel play. These kids deserve a break.
The varsity season begins Nov. 6, which is election day.
The elementary schools need to join the Tennessee Middle School Athletic Association, which sets aside the date for the start of basketball practice and regular season play.
I want to correct something from the elementary championship game last week. Sam Bates scored South Cumberland's first touchdown instead of Hayden Woody. Sam Boles name should have been Sam Bates. I apologise for the mistake.
Last Saturday, I attended Cumberland University's homecoming game against Union College at the old Lebanon High School field. The Bulldogs (5-1, 2-0) defeated their Mid-South opponent 42-21, thanks to an impressive showing by Lemeco Miller. He rushed for 175 yards and scored five touchdowns for the NAIA's No. 17th-ranked Bulldogs.
Miller scored three times in the second half, helping the Bulldogs break at 21-21, fourth-quarter tie. He established career highs for rushing yards and touchdowns in the victory. For the season, he has 726 yards and 13 rushing TDs for the season or 5.8 yards per carry.
He could be late-round NFL draft pick next year.
(Ed Greif is the Chronicle sports editor and his column appears periodically.)