Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association released Wednesday updated classifications to be used beginning with the 2013-2014 school year.
Greenback will remain in class 1A for all sports, and Lenoir City will stay in class 5A for football and 3A for all other sports.
Loudon is the only county school to move up. The Redskins will remain in class 2A for most sports, but will move up from class 3A to class 4A for football.
The change will move Loudon away from both Alcoa and Christian Academy of Knoxville in postseason play for football. The two schools have eliminated the Redskins in five of their last six playoff appearances, with Alcoa responsible for four of those.
"To me, Alcoa has the whole package," Loudon Coach Jeff Harig said. "They have the discipline, they have the coaching and they've got the athletes. There's not that many teams that have the total package."
Alcoa won seven state championships in a row from 2004-2010, the last two coming in class 3A. CAK won in 2011.
"From a football standpoint, you're kind of getting away from what's been the beast in 3A football the last few years," Loudon Athletic Director Ronald Roberts said. "Since '05, we've played Alcoa probably 10 or 11 times, counting the playoffs, and they've kind of stood in our way. There's some good football teams in 4A, but year in, year out I think our football program will have a chance to compete."
Loudon is currently a member of the same district as both of those schools, and officials don't yet know if that will change for the regular season. What is certain is that Loudon's new district will not look the same.
Stone Memorial, currently classified in 4A for football and 2A for other sports, will move up to class 5A in football and 3A for all other sports. Meigs County, currently in District 5-AA, will move down in classification to 2A for football and 1A for other sports. The move leaves District 5-AA with only four football schools and creates an opening for Loudon to move over with Sweetwater, Polk County, Sequoyah and McMinn Central.
"Geographically, we're the easiest to move because we're the furthest team south," Roberts said. "If we go into there, then it's going to impact all of our sports quite a bit I think."
Lenoir City's district is guaranteed some change as well. Knoxville Catholic, currently a 5A football school, will move to class 4A for football and 2A for other sports. That will move the school out of the Panthers' district, which Catholic is currently a member of, making Lenoir City and Knoxville West the only two 5A schools remaining in the district among five 6A schools.
If there is no further change to the district, Lenoir City would be left at a great disadvantage in comparison to schools in the current District 1-AAA, which houses just two 6A schools and six 5A schools.
Currently, only District 15-AAA, in Memphis, and District 7-AAA, in Murfreesboro, have more 6A schools than Lenoir City's district. While District 15-AAA has two 5A schools, District 7-AAA has none.
A district change for Lenoir City could be affected by changes in nearby districts, such as District 3-AAA, where Oak Ridge and Karns are set to move from 6A to 5A in football, and Powell is moving from 5A to 6A. The changes would make the district much more 5A heavy and could call for a reform of District 4-AAA and District 3-AAA to even out the number of 5A and 6A schools.
Greenback is unlikely to see changes its district with no schools making any moves in classification.
Current classes can still see movement, as schools have until Oct. 24 to move up in classification, meaning some schools that have dropped may elect to remain in their prior classification. However, schools will not move down at this point and the cutoff points for classification will not be changed moving forward.
TSSAA staff will release recommended districts and regions Oct. 25, which will be taken into consideration by the TSSAA Board of Control as they make the final decision. The Board of Control will vote to finalize districts Nov. 15 in Murfreesboro.
"We're kind of on the boarder right now of where we may end up region-wise," Roberts said. "We've got to wait until then to kind of know what's going to happen."
Classifications are set by enrollment figures. Schools are divided evenly into three classes, which become A, AA and AAA. Schools are then divided evenly within those classes by the number of football-playing schools to determine the six football classifications.