Nine schools have been approved to play up in football classification beginning with the 2015 high school season.
The Kentucky High School Athletics Association Board of Control released information Thursday related to the four-year realignment that begins in 2015 and runs through the 2019 football season.
Significantly, five schools moved up from Class 4A to Class 5A, including perennial football power Fort Thomas Highlands.
Joining the Bluebirds in moving up to 5A are Nelson County, Perry County Central, Letcher County Central, Covington Catholic and Shelby County.
Highlands had won six straight state titles — three in 4A and three in 5A — before losing to Collins, 37-34, in the 4A state title game in Bowling Green in December.
The Bluebirds won Class 5A titles from 2007-09 before realignment in 2010 moved them down to Class 4A.
In a change from previous realignments, this time the KHSAA allowed teams to move down from higher classifications to lower classifications to maintain a routine number schools in each class.
Logan County, Madisonville-North Hopkins, Scott County, Hopkinsville, East Jessamine and West Jessamine moved to 4A from 5A.
The move down of Logan County will impact Barren County’s district in the 2015 season. Barren, Logan, Bowling Green, Warren Central and Greenwood had competed against each other in Class 5A, District 2. With the opening of South Warren High School in Warren County, Central dropped to 4A.
The KHSAA said in a statement it will look at draft alignments for districts at its April 15 board meeting.
Kevin Wallace, Bowling Green’s head football coach, said Thursday on Twitter the new district will consist of Barren, Bowling Green, Greenwood and Grayson County.
Monroe County returns to Class 2A, which means a possible return to a district with Glasgow, Monroe, Metcalfe County and Green County. Clinton County, which had also been in the district previously but played a non-district schedule last season, is also in Class 2A.
Mayfield, which has won three of the last five Class 1A state titles, moves into Class 2A. Lexington Christian, which won the 2008 1A state championship, is also in 2A along with the last three schools to win the 2A title — DeSales, Newport Central Catholic and Covington Holy Cross. These five recent state champions join traditional football powers Danville, Somerset, Glasgow, Murray, Middlesboro, Owensboro Catholic, Prestonsburg and Christian Academy of Louisville in the class.
Caverna remains in Class 1A.
The classification of a school’s football program is determined by calculating a four-year average of the boys student population in each school. That number is then ranked, keeping 32 programs in the smallest and largest classifications and dividing the remaining schools in the other four classifications as evenly as possible.