What MHSAA realignment for 2021-22, 2022-23 school years means for local prep football and basketball




Theo DeRosa



No local high schools will be moving up or down a class in the MHSAA's realignment for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years, announced Thursday.


But within the classes, there's plenty of movement to delve into thanks to reclassifications of other schools around the state.


The Dispatch will break down how football and basketball regions have changed for public high schools in the Golden Triangle below, going class by class.



Class 6A -- Starkville High School


For Starkville High School, Class 6A, Region 2 in football will remain largely unchanged. This year's region consists of Clinton, Germantown, Madison Central, Murrah, South Panola, Warren Central and Greenville, as well as the Jackets.


The first four opponents will remain the same, but starting next year, three new teams will be in the mix.


Class 6A stalwarts Oxford and Tupelo join the region, while Grenada comes up from Class 5A to be part of it, too. Greenville will go down to Class 5A, while South Panola heads to Region 1-6A and Warren Central to 3-6A.


In basketball, Starkville's district -- comprising the Jackets, Germantown, Greenville and South Panola -- is wholly new. The Jackets will face Grenada, Oxford and Tupelo as their district opponents and will now compete in 1-6A rather than 3-6A.


Class 5A -- Columbus, New Hope and West Point high schools


Region 1-5A in football is bringing in two new teams and subtracting two former ones.


Center Hill and Grenada each earned a promotion to Class 6A, and Cleveland Central and Greenville will take their place in 1-5A. The new region comprises Columbus, New Hope, West Point, Lafayette, Lake Cormorant, Saltillo, Cleveland Central and Greenville.


In basketball, Region 2-5A currently features Grenada, Columbus, New Hope and West Point. Next year, the latter three schools will compete along with Saltillo in Region 1-5A.


Class 4A -- Caledonia High School


Caledonia will be swapping Region 2-4A in both football and basketball for Region 1-4A, but the opponents they will face are still mostly the same.


That's because Shannon, Itawamba Agricultural and Mooreville are all making the move along with Caledonia, adding to a region that also contains Tishomingo County and powerhouse Corinth.


Class 3A -- Noxubee County High School


In both basketball and football, Noxubee County remains in Region 4-3A, but two of its four district opponents have changed.


Houston is headed up to Class 4A, and Choctaw County is headed down to Class 2A, so Amory and Nettleton will replace them in the region. Hatley and Aberdeen remain in 4-3A.


Class 2A -- no local schools


Class 1A -- West Lowndes High School


West Lowndes will see a bigger shake-up than perhaps any local school next year, particularly in basketball.


The Panthers' current 5-1A basketball district contains Ethel, French Camp Academy, McAdams, Nanih Waiya and Noxapater in addition to West Lowndes.


Next year, they won't be playing district games against a single one of those teams. The new Region 4-1A comprises West Lowndes, Coffeeville, Hamilton, Houlka, Okolona and Vardaman.


Hamilton, Okolona and Vardaman are current members of Region 2-1A in football along with West Lowndes, Nanih Waiya, Noxapater, French Camp, Smithville and Tupelo Christian Prep. But next year's Region 1-3A, in which West Lowndes will compete, subs out Nanih Waiya (moving up to Class 2A), Okolona and TCPS, replacing them with Sebastopol and Leake County.


That means next year's Region 1-3A will have eight teams, while this year's has nine.



Theo DeRosa reports on high school sports and Mississippi State softball for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at @Theo_DeRosa.


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