While Tennessee high school football looks poised to stay the same for two more years, other Warren County teams could see new opponents starting in the 2021-21 school year.
The Tennessee Board of Control met Monday and voted to move to four classifications in baseball, basketball and softball moving forward, according to reporting by the Tennessean. Warren County has been in AAA for several years, competing in District 6AAA in basketball, baseball and softball.
Currently, the Pioneer and Lady Pioneer opponents in District 6AAA are Cookeville, White County, Stone Memorial and Rhea County. Athletic director Todd Willmore believed new proposals were being sought out in hopes of unifying rivals.
“I think if you poll most coaches, they will agree that they would like to play the same teams in all sports,” said Willmore, who also coaches the Lady Pioneer soccer team. “Common rivals throughout sports seemed to be the goal. It’s hard to build a true rivalry when you’re facing one team in one sport, then other teams in other sports.”
Warren County’s football region (3-6A) includes Oakland, Riverdale, Siegel, Blackman, Rockvale, Coffee County and Cookeville – the lone school that is in the same region/district as the Pioneers and Lady Pioneers in every sport. In other sports, Warren County also has district matches against Soddy Daisy and Ooltewah.
While the addition of a fourth class could mean a more uniform set of opponents for the majority of Warren County teams, football doesn’t seem likely to be moving regions. The board voted to keep six football classifications. A proposal to drop to five classifications had been previously discussed.
The four classifications will be split evenly based on enrollment. The TSSAA will wait until the 20th-day enrollment numbers come in from all schools before setting classifications.