JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – New high school football classifications are out for 2021 and quite a few area schools are on the move.
The Florida High School Athletic Association’s long-delayed, long-awaited district and region assignments were released Monday morning for the upcoming year. It was a process that had been delayed from its typical mid-December release due to discussion about when, how and for how long, to reclassify schools.
There aren’t many seismic changes for area schools, with just six moving up in classification and three others moving down.
One of those moving down, however, is powerhouse Trinity Christian. The Conquerors won the Class 3A state championship last December. If Trinity is back in the title game this year, it will be in Class 2A.
That is a significant move because Trinity joins a region that includes another heavyweight in University Christian. The two private school behemoths have a combined 17 state championships, nine for UC and eight for the Conquerors. The Class 2A criteria is for enrollments 360 and below.
St. Johns County schools Nease and Ponte Vedra both moved, the Panthers down from 8A and the Sharks up from 6A, to land in the District 3-7A. That means their annual rivalry game actually has more at stake than just bragging rights this year.
Classes 5A-8A are once again in districts, with those games against district opponents mandatory. Teams in 1A-4A are slotted into regions and have the flexibility to schedule whomever they choose.
The current reclassification uses student enrollment numbers from October 2020, a metric that the FHSAA board agreed on earlier this month. The classifications will be redrawn again this winter for a two-year cycle.
2021 area football classifications
Area teams in BOLD moved up in classification; area teams in italics moved down in classification
Bartram Trail, Creekside, Mandarin, Oakleaf, Sandalwood.
DeLand, Flagler Palm Coast, Lake Mary, Oviedo, Sanford Seminole.
Atlantic Coast, First Coast, Fleming Island, Fletcher, Nease, Ponte Vedra.
Columbia, Englewood, Lee, Orange Park, Westside.
Gainesville, Matanzas, Middleburg, Ridgeview, St. Augustine.
Baker County, Bishop Kenny, Paxon, Suwannee, White.
Raines, Ribault, Parker, Yulee.
Clay, Gainesville Eastside, Menendez, North Marion, Palatka.
Baldwin, Bay, Bolles, Fernandina Beach, Gadsden County, Jackson, Marianna, North Bay Haven, Rutherford, South Walton, West Nassau, Wolfson.
Astronaut, Central, Cocoa, Hernando, Keystone Heights, Santa Fe, South Sumter, Space Coast, Umatilla, Villages.
Chipley, Crescent City, Episcopal, Florida High, Interlachen, Maclay, P.K. Yonge, Pensacola Catholic, Providence, Trinity Catholic, Walton.
Aucilla Christian, FAMU, Munroe, North Florida Christian, North Florida Educational, Rocky Bayou Christian, St. Francis, St. John Paul II, St. Joseph, Trinity Christian, University Christian.
Bell, Branford, Chiefland, Dixie County, Fort White, Hilliard, Lafayette, Trenton, Union County.
Bradford, Bronson, Fort Meade, Hawthorne, Newberry, Pahokee, Taylor, Wildwood, Williston.
Bishop Snyder, Cedar Creek Christian, Christ’s Church, Eagle’s View, Harvest Community, Stanton, Tocoi Creek.