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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tentative district alignment has Highlands in four-team 5A district; NC in six-team 2A district

G. Michael Graham Photo. The Highlands Bluebirds could be in the same Class 5A district with Dixie Heights, Covington Catholic and Grant County starting in 2015.

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association recently released the draft football alignments for the 2015 through 2018 seasons.

The Highlands and Covington Catholic football teams received their wish to move up. Based on other teams that applied to move up or down classes last month, there was no surprise that the Bluebirds and Colonels were tentatively placed in the same District 5 with Dixie Heights and Grant County.

The Bluebirds were in the same district with CovCath and Dixie Heights from 2007 to 2010 in Class 5A. Highlands has gone 23-0 in district action since 2007.

Highlands hoped to be placed in a five-team district to alleviate scheduling issues of recent years. The Bluebirds ventured to Paducah Tilghman and John Hardin last year because the only team in the northern three counties of Kentucky outside the district that would play them was Campbell County. Highlands has to travel to Lexington Bryan Station and Warren Central and again plays host to a Florida team in Miami Christopher Columbus.

The initial thought was Highlands and CovCath would be in a district with Scott, Cooper and Conner. But Cooper and Conner moved up to 6A and are tentatively in a three-team district with Ryle. Campbell County, Simon Kenton and Boone County made up another tentative Northern Kentucky 6A district. Scott moved down to 4A while Dixie Heights moved down to 5A.

Highlands is 45-17 all-time against Covington Catholic. But the placement with Dixie Heights would renew the series against the team the Bluebirds have faced the second-most times in school history. Highlands is 62-8 all-time against Dixie Heights.

The defending 4A runner-up Bluebirds have not faced Grant County since 2006 when they were in the same district in the old four-class alignment. Highlands is 6-0 all-time against the Braves.

Highlands and CovCath complete their final season in 4A this fall. They’ve been in the same district with Covington Holmes and Harrison County. Pendleton County was also in the same district in 2011 and 2012 but elected to withdraw from district play last season and this season.

Highlands had to travel south for state semifinal games while in 5A before venturing to Lexington Catholic twice in 2011 and last year while in 4A. The Bluebirds won 34-6 at Harlan County in 2010 after winning 42-16 at Whitley County in 2008.

In 2A, Newport Central Catholic expected to be placed in the same district with current rivals Newport, Lloyd Memorial and Covington Holy Cross. The numbers saw Bishop Brossart drop to 1A.

That turned out to be the case in the new tentative district. But the Thoroughbreds may have to travel some in the new district because the KHSAA placed Bath County and West Carter in the tentative District 6.

NewCath had not had to travel outside Northern Kentucky for district play since the split to six classes in 2007. The Thoroughbreds are 24-0 in district play since then.

The defending 2A runner-up Thoroughbreds own an overall record of 90-26-1 all-time against Newport, Holy Cross and Lloyd Memorial. They are 2-0 in school history against West Carter and 1-0 against Bath County. NewCath beat Bath County, 21-6 in the first round of the Class A playoffs in 1995 and defeated West Carter regular-season meetings, 23-3 and 53-3 in 1987 and 1988 respectively.

The KHSAA is giving schools the opportunity to voice opinions of the alignment through May 5. The final draft will come at the KHSAA Board of Control Meeting on May 12 to give schools the opportunity to work on schedules.

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