Excel Christian Academy was one of those schools to see dramatic changes to their region.
Darlington and Gordon Lee will no longer be in the same region while Morris Innovative, Mount Paran Christian and North Cobb Christian will become familar opponents for the Eagles in sub-region A of Region 6-A.
The nine programs in Region 6-A, sub-region A — along with Excel — will be Christian Heritage, Georgia School for the Deaf, Morris Innovative, Mount Paran Christian, Mount Zion Carroll, North Cobb Christian, Southwest Atlanta Christian and Trion.
“It’s a very well-rounded region with some of the bigger private schools as well as the smaller good public schools like Trion,” Excel athletic director Chad Parker said.
Sub-region B will include Fellowship Christian, Fulton Science Academy, King’s Ridge, Mount Pisgah Christian, Pinecrest Academy and St. Francis-Walker.
With so many schools, Parker still believes he can fit in rivalry games with former region opponents such as Darlington, and certain Bartow County schools.
“I think we’ll try to get some of our rivalries that we’ve had and continue to play Darlington. And hopefully, we’ll get to where we can play other Bartow County schools like we did in softball this year when we played Adairsville,” Parker said. “We want to face more local teams in the non region. I think sometimes the perception is that all we are playing is little Christian schools, and no one knows who those teams are.”
Excel’s region will include several strong athletic programs.
“Trion is in our sub-region. They’re public and have been a good program. Mount Paran, they have some of the more established athletic programs in all the sports,” Parker said. “Mount Paran just went to the elite eight in football. Christian Heritage has done very well in football. Walker has been a really good baseball school and has been to final fours. King’s Ridge has been very good in all sports. Mount Pisgah won the state championship in softball. St. Francis and Fellowship have been very good. It's just very competitive with schools our size. I’m excited. That’s where we’re trying to get to. I think it will be good for us.”
Parker hopes to build the athletic programs at Excel to the point where the Eagles are a force in the new region in each sport.
“We have the kind of athletes in this area that can compete statewide,” he said. “Our deal is to make sure our elite athletes stay all four years. We’re going to be looking to add more sports so that our kids stay and have more options.”