Story by Griffin Pritchard | Publisher
Photos by CAScoreboard Staff
CENTRAL ALABAMA SCOREBOARD OFFICE – After taking counts in September and February, the Alabama Independent School Association announced realignment in March and will welcome a first season of eight-man football on its smallest level.
According to AISA Athletics Director Roddie Beck: “The plan is to grow. We are excited about our inaugural 8-man football season. We have had discussions with other leagues as well as individual schools concerning the AISA 8-man football program.”
Starting the conversation with the AISA 8-Man League gives us an opportunity to introduce the players of sorts:
1. Southern Preparatory Academy (known formerly as Lyman Ward)
2. Springwood School
3. Evangel Christian
4. North River Christian
5. Meadowview Christian
6. Cornerstone Christian
With only one region and a round-robin schedule, the top four teams will advance to the AISA State Championship playoffs. Now getting there though is going to be an interesting path, as league officials – according to Beck – have given these schools an allowance to “participate against other conferences as well as play an 11-man game against an AISA Member school to fill their schedule.”
So with this change – what does the rest of the league look like?
Class A and Class AA have the traditional two-region setup.
· Coosa Valley Academy (R1)
· Jackson Academy (R2)
· Crenshaw Christian Academy (R1)
· Snook Christian Academy (R2)
· Lakeside School (R1)
· South Choctaw Academy (R2)
· Lowndes Academy (R1)
· Sparta Academy (R2)
· Southern Academy (R1)
· Wilcox Academy (R2)
· Abbeville Christian Academy (R1)
· Banks Academy (R2)
· Chambers Academy (R1)
· Clarke Prep School (R2)
· Edgewood Academy (R1)
· Escambia Academy (R2)
· Hooper Academy (R1)
· Patrician Academy (R2)
· Macon East Academy (R1)
· Pickens Academy (R2)
In terms of football, Class AAA has gone from two divisions to one.. Beck said – following the realignment release – that one of the hardest parts of aligning the league for this next cycle was twofold: “the division breakdown as well as the concern for each school to fill a quality schedule.”
Class AAA rings the truest to that sentiment as league officials were left looking for a way to establish competition with the departure of Tuscaloosa Academy and Pike Liberal to the greener pastures of the Alabama High School Athletic Association. In its wake, schedule makers created a classification where all teams will battle head-to-head in one division.
The AISA’s largest classification looks like this:
· Autauga Academy
· Bessemer Academy
· Fort Dale Academy
· Glenwood School
· Lee-Scott Academy
· Monroe Academy
· Morgan Academy
· Valiant Cross Academy
That’s a pretty stout schedule for any team bound to that division. However, those who rise will be rewarded as the top six advances to the postseason. Teams finishing No. 1 and No. 2 will advance to the semifinals while teams finishing 3-6 will be in a playoff for the two remaining semifinal spots.
Below is a link to the conference alignments for all other AISA sports: https://aisaonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/2022-2024-SPORTS-CLASSIFICATION-OF-ALL-SPORTS.pdf
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