The DeKalb County High School Tiger football team will see some old, familiar faces when they hit the gridiron for the 2009 season. After TSSAA adopted the new plan for the next classification period - 2009-13 - the Tigers will be back in District 8-AA with Smith County, Livingston Academy, York Institute, Cannon County, Jackson County and Macon County.
"I like what it will do for us in the regular season," Tiger head football coach, Steve Trapp, said. "It puts us in a better situation. Financially, it will help bring more revenue to our games, and it brings back the old familiar rivalries we once had in football."
The new plan, known as the Z-Plan, re-groups all of Tennessee's high school football teams into three classifications for the regular season, but will expand to six classes for the playoffs. For DeKalb County, the Tigers will be considered a 4A team, but could be classified as either a 3A or 4A team for the playoffs, depending on who makes it into the field.
In Class AA, there are 16 districts, and the top two teams from each district receive an automatic playoff berth. Of those 32 teams, the top 16, in terms of enrollment, will be grouped in the 4A division, while the remaining 16 will be placed in the 3A division. Then, 32 more teams will receive wild card berths, based on their win-loss records, and again, the top 16 in enrollment will be placed in 4A, while the remaining 16 will round out the 3A playoff field.
Of the teams in the new district, DeKalb, Livingston and Macon are classified as 4A, while the remaining four teams are 3A.
In basketball, baseball and softball, the teams will be the same as in football. The biggest change will be Upperman dropping to Class A, while Jackson County moves back up to Class AA.
The Z-Plan, which passed by a 5-to-4 vote of the TSSAA Board of Control, will take affect in the 2009-10 school year. The full plan, along with completed classifications, should be approved during the November meeting of the Board of Control.