Shaking things up
AHSAA Realignment Sand Rock moves down to 2A, Cedar Bluff stays 1A
Sand Rock football coach Steven Chesnut’s first season as a head coach was a big change for him.
His second year at the helm of the Wildcats will see even more adjustments – but with a lot more familiar faces.
The Alabama High School Athletic Association announced its biennial realignments last Wednesday morning. After spending the past two seasons in Class 3A, Sand Rock drops back down to Class 2A beginning this fall.
For the past two seasons, the Wildcats have competed against the likes of region opponents Brindlee Mountain, North Sand Mountain, Plainview, Sylvania, Geraldine, New Hope and Pisgah.
For the next two seasons, the Wildcats have been placed in the new Class 2A, Region 6, along with much familiar foes Fyffe, Gaston, Ider, Section and Westbrook Christian.
Sand Rock will also rekindle its rivalry with Collinsville, this time as a region opponent. Asbury, which begins its first season of football this year, is also in the new Class 2A, Region 6.
“It’s a lot of the people we’ve played in the past, so we’ve got a lot of familiarity (in this region). That will be nice,” Chesnut said. “Our travel will be a lot shorter, and it will help with our crowds. I think Ider is the longest trip we’ll make. There are a couple of surprises, but for the most part, it’s what we expected.”
Chesnut said the Wildcats are looking forward to their new region, particularly renewing their rivalry with Collinsville.
The two teams last played in 1997, with Sand Rock winning 32-7. Sand Rock has won last five meetings in a series dating back to 1946, and holds a 17-10 edge in series.
“It’ll be a tough region game for us. They’ve been good the past few years,” Chesnut said. “(Collinsville) Coach (Ernie) Willingham does a great job with his kids, so it should be another good region game for us. Our kids are looking forward to playing Collinsville.”
Sand Rock head football coach Steven Chesnut talks to his players following a Wildcat practice last summer. The Wildcats will move from Class 3A to Class 2A for the next two years under the AHSAA’s realignment plan, announced last Wednesday.