FHSAA unveils new football plan

The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) announced Wednesday the new football classification divisions its board of directors approved in February.

The restructure will put 232 schools into the four metro divisions, 230 schools into four suburban divisions and 34 schools in the lone rural division based on enrollment numbers for each classification. According to the FHSAA, schools have until March 18 to file an appeal.

The reclassification is designated for football only and the restructure occurred to restore competitive balance in the sport that – over the past decade – has been dominated by the eight largest counties in the state (Duval, Orange, Seminole, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade). Since 2011, schools in these counties have won 87 percent of the state titles, according to an FHSAA report.

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The classification breakdown by enrollment numbers and how many schools are in each are broken down below:

Rural:

1R: 133-600 (34 schools)

Suburban:

1S: 65-600 (29 schools)

2S: 601-1,445 (66 schools)

3S: 1,446-1,895 (67 schools)

4S: 1,896-3,226 (68 schools)

Metro:

1M: 103-600 (37 schools)

2M: 601-1,666 (64 schools)

3M: 1,667-2,329 (65 schools)

4M: 2,330-4,843 (66 schools)

Only eight counties are defined as Metro (Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Orange, Duval, Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Seminole) with the other 59 counties fall into either the Rural or Suburban Classification.

Below are North Central Florida schools in the Mainstreet Daily News region and district assignments that apply:

Rural:

1R Region 3: Bell, Bradford (Starke), Fort White, Union County (Lake Butler)

1R Region 4: Bronson, Chiefland, Hawthorne, Trenton, Williston, Dixie County (Cross City)

Suburban:

1S Region 2 – District 3: P.K Yonge (Gainesville), St. Francis Catholic Academy (Gainesville)

2S Region 1 – District 4: Suwannee (Live Oak)

2S Region 2 – District 6: Bradford, Keystone Heights

2S Region 2 – District 7: Eastside, Santa Fe (Alachua), Newberry

3S Region 1 – District 3: Columbia (Lake City)

3S Region 1 – District 4: Gainesville High School.

4S Region 1 – District 3: Buchholz

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