After two years of playing in Region 1-AAAA, the Georgia High School Association released new region reclassifications last week that will return the Worth County Rams to a new and condensed Region 1-AAA. Worth student athletes had played in AAA for decades prior to the most recent realignment in 2014. But, Ram fans cried foul when GHSA allowed Thomas County Central and Bainbridge to drop from AAAAA to AAAA and join the same region as teams like Worth, Crisp, and Dougherty.
Additionally, the massive 10 team Region 1-AAAA required the schedules to split into a pair of five-team sub-regions for football. This further complicated an already questionable situation and left Worth County at a disadvantage. For example, this fall, the Rams were obviously the second best team in the region with their only loss to Bainbridge. However, Worth finished second in their sub-region, so they were not given the opportunity to compete for the region championship or host a playoff game. Instead, Cairo played for the title against Bainbridge even though the Rams beat the Syrupmakers during the regular season.
After announcing that Worth would return to AAA in mid-November, GHSA heard appeals from schools seeking to transfer their classifications. Then last Tuesday, the final region was announced. Starting next school year, Worth County will compete in a five team region including Cook County, Crisp County, Dougherty, and Monroe. While the region is small, this will put the Rams playing against teams that are very similar in terms of student enrollment, and the teams are in close proximity.
Of the teams currently comprising Region 1-AAAA, Bainbridge and TCC will return to AAAAA. Meanwhile, Cairo, Westover, and Americus-Sumter will remain in AAAA. So, the long and bitter rivalry between Worth and Cairo will come to an end next fall. And, Albany High will drop back to AA.