FCHS stays at 3A, South Pike and Wesson among new district foes

by Sean Dunlap

Franklin County High School’s sports programs will be staying put for at least two more competitive seasons — with only a few changes in opponents — following last week’s reclassification announcement by the Mississippi High School Activities Association.

The biggest change, which was originally announced back in April, came for Magnolia State schools in growing from six to seven classifications for sports beginning next school year.

The state’s top 24 high schools in terms of overall student population totals in grades nine through 11 make up the new 7A classification.

Among the inaugural class of Class 7A programs are Desoto Central, Tupelo, Ocean Springs, Northwest Rankin, Southhaven, Oak Grove, Clinton, Gulfport, Biloxi, Madison Central, Brandon, Harrison Central, D’Iberville, Germantown, Hernando, Starkville, Horn Lake, Meridian, Saint Martin, Oxford, Petal, Murrah, Pearl and Lewisburg.

Twenty-four teams will make up each of the new 5A- and 6A-level schools for the 2023-2024 and the 2024-2025 high school sports seasons.

The state’s 2A, 3A and 4A schools will be made up of around 40 schools each with all remaining campuses — roughly 46 — placed in the Class 1A ranks.

Franklin County, which has spent the past several years as a 3A school mostly participating in Region 7, will remain in that classification and district for the next two sports seasons, according to MHSAA.

Based on the classifications listing of student populations released on Thursday, Nov. 3, FCHS is the state’s 10th largest Class 3A school with a student enrollment for realignment purposes measured at 323.

Here is a breakdown of the 2023-2025 reclassification line-ups where FCHS is concerned:


The new 7-3A gridiron district starting next fall will include Franklin County, Jefferson County, Port Gibson, South Pike and Wesson Attendance Center.

Exiting district competition will be Tylertown, which will be moving to District 8-3A, and Wilkinson County, which will go down to Class 2A.

South Pike had previously been a Class 4A football competitor, but is moving down to 3A with the latest reclassification.


Realignment will create a five-team District 7 with Franklin County, Jefferson County, Port Gibson, South Pike and Wesson.

Hazlehurst remains a 3A school, but will be moving to District 6, and Wilkinson County will be leaving Class 3A play.


The diamond districts competition for baseball and softball beginning in the 2023-2024 school year will include Franklin County, Jefferson County, Port Gibson, South Pike and Wesson.

In baseball and softball, Class 3A Hazlehurst and Tylertown will be exiting for District 6 and District 8, respectively.


FC volleyball will remain in the six-team Region 7-3A with the field of competitors including Hazlehurst, Jefferson County, Port Gibson, South Pike and Wesson.

Moving out of District 7 will be Crystal Springs, which is being shifted to 6-3A, and Saint Andrew’s, which is moving down to Class 2A.


For classification purposes, the MHSAA groups 1A, 2A and 3A schools playing soccer into one group — Class I.

Franklin County along with Bogue Chitto, Loyd Star, Wesson and West Lincoln will represent District 7 following realignment.

District 7 previously had a six-team field of teams with Hazlehurst being moved to Class I District 6 beginning next year.


Franklin County will remain in Region 8-3A following reclassification along with Jefferson Davis County, Saint Patrick, Saint Stanislaus and Wesson.

The one program leaving the region will be Magee, which is moving to District 5-3A.


Franklin County, Jefferson County, Port Gibson, South Pike and Wesson will make up the revamped District 7-3A in track and field competition.

As with football, Tylertown and Wilkinson County will no longer part of the equation in this particular sport.