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Rivalries with Reeltown and Elmore County may be in jeopardy

Season closes Friday, future scheduling discussed

By Michael Butler

Tallassee will put a cap on the 2023 football season on Friday with Senior Night versus Holtville at J.E. "Hot" O’Brien Stadium. This year marks the end of the Alabama High School Athletic Association two-year cycle for scheduling. Realignments for classifications and regions will be released by the AHSAA in December. Tallassee head football coach and athletic director Mike Battles said that the numbers at THS have decreased.

"I spoke with Mr. (Drew) Glass," said Battles of conversations with the THS principal, "I think we're probably going to 4A." The enrollment for the previous cycle was 401 making Tallassee the third smallest 5A football school in the AHSAA. Battles spoke of a dip in the current counts.

"I think this year we're going to be in the 365-375 range." Those numbers are the lowest since the 2016-17 cycle (365). That was the last time Tallassee participated in 4A. That ranked THS at No. 163 among all member schools in the AHSAA compared to No. 144 for the most recent cycle.

"From my best knowledge, the top 32 are going to be 7A," Battles added. "They work down from there. 1A may have 75 schools, but there are many that don't play football. 1A will be the largest classification. The rest of them is usually around 64 schools." With new classifications and regions includes decisions on scheduling non-region opponents. Battles has already penciled in a couple of teams.

"Marbury has already agreed to play week five and Holtville week ten. All that can change depending on regions. Everybody's trying to knock down the ones they've been playing."

Reeltown has been the season opener the past four seasons.

"We're probably not going to play Reeltown," Battles said. "Matt (Johnson) and I have talked. (We're) probably not going to play them and go in a different direction."

In addition, Elmore County, if not a region opponent, could also come off the schedule. The Tigers have played the Panthers every season since 1971.

"Elmore County - don't know. They're probably going to stay 5A. We're probably going to move to 4A. If the logistics work out, then we'll play them. If not, it is what it is."