By Tim Chambers
The recent TSSAA reclassification vote should not be any concern to Johnson County fans and the reason is simple. The last reclassification was a total bust and the one before wasn’t much better.
So will the recent recommendations be any better for the Longhorns in 2017-18? You never know, but there is reason to be optimistic if they go to six divisions.
The TSSAA Board of Controls has recommended going to six classes for Division 1 football.
They would either keep the 32-team format for Class 6A or split all six classifications evenly.
This only applies for football and gets even better for basketball, baseball and softball.
A couple of board members are pushing to expand those sports to four, five or six classifications.
The football part could be very beneficial for Johnson County. Scheduling could pose a problem for winter and spring sports.
How would the field look for Johnson County if TSSAA expanded its reclassification to a larger number? Below is how things would shape up if that happened today using prior enrollment numbers.
The Longhorns would be paired with Cumberland Gap, Happy Valley, Chuckey-Doak, West Greene and possibly Sullivan North if expanded to six divisions, but that might change if North closes.
This would be the best case scenario for the Horns.
Five classes could bring Greeneville, Elizabethton and Sullivan South back into the league. This would be a nightmare for teams like Johnson County and Unicoi County.
A four-division reclassification would look a lot like the five division reclassification with Chuckey-Doak, Happy Valley and possibly West Greene added.
Numbers don’t factor fairly when comparing Johnson County’s total number of students to a school like Elizabethton, Sullivan South and Greeneville. The Cyclones can draw nearly 700 students within a 10-mile radius in addition to drawing in some of Carter County’s top athletes if they choose to pay and go there.
South and Greeneville would do the same and each would be a nightmare to play on the gridiron.
The student body at Johnson County is spread out over a large radius like a week’s washing. Transportation from Trade, Shady Valley and Butler is much more difficult than driving the city streets and four-lane highways in other areas.
The TSSAA will request enrollment numbers from each member school on September 16 and will list that number on their website at the end of the month.
I can go on and on with all this bologna but why bother. I do have a plan, sort of like the one used by the military.
Give all the JCHS students a week-long furlough who travel 20 miles or more to school each day. Take the enrollment while they are gone and send it in.
What should we say if TSSAA should find out?
“We watered down our enrollment a bit like you guys did winning a state championship in football.”