NEW REGION (photo)

Spalding High running back Nazir Berry (3) rushes against Griffin High during the season opener on Aug. 20 at Memorial Stadium in Griffin.

After the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) heard appeals for lateral transfers Thursday, the region assignments for the next two-year cycle were solidified.

Spalding High and Griffin High are both slated to play in Region 2-AAAA along with Baldwin, Howard, Perry, West Laurens and Westside-Macon.

It puts Griffin and Spalding in the same classification and region for the first time since the 2015-2016 season. Spalding and Griffin both played in Region 4-AAAA from 2012-13 through the 2015-16 seasons.

During the current two-year cycle, Griffin High is playing in Region 2-AAAAA along with: Whitewater, Starr’s Mill, Harris County, McIntosh, Northgate and Northside-Columbus.

During the current two-year cycle, Spalding High is playing in Region 4-AAAA along with: Baldwin, Perry, West Laurens, Westside-Macon, Howard and Rutland.

“We only lost Rutland,” Spalding High athletic director Marty Shiver said last week prior to appeals to move up or down in classification.

“We’re fine with it,” said Shiver, who added at the time that Spalding had no plans to appeal its current region assignment for the next two-year cycle.

Shiver said having a seven-team region affords the teams flexibility to schedule a handful of non-region games.

“I like that we don’t have so many teams, like the region Fayette is in,” added Shiver. “They have nine teams — they don’t have much flexibility as far as scheduling non-region opponents where we still do.”

That could be a critical component to securing games with larger gates.

At the time, Griffin High athletic director Rusty Easom said he was also OK with the new region assignment as well.

“Yeah,” he said, “We’re not going to appeal anything.”

The GHSA heard appeals from 9 a.m., through 6:40 p.m., on Wednesday, Nov. 10 to move up or move down in classification. A total of 60 schools made appeals.

“I was kind of surprised by how many appeals were won,” Easom said of a day where 39 of the 60 appeals were approved while 21 were denied.

The next step in the process of solidifying the new region assignments involved hearing appeals for lateral moves which it did on Thursday from 10:05 a.m., until 2:20 p.m., at the GHSA office in Thomaston.

In all, 23 teams made lateral appeals. A total of 13 were approved, while 10 were denied.