THS Golden Wave moves to 7a

THS Golden Wave moves to 7a


On Thursday, the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) decided to implement a 7a classification for high school sports beginning in the 2023-2024 school year. The 7a classification will consist of the 24 high schools with the largest student population in the state. 

“And we’re doing reclassification, that the big thing that everyone was wanting to be reclassified was simply that there was a 1,000 difference between our largest school in sub-classifications and the smallest school in sub-classification,” MHSAA executive director Rickey Neaves said in a phone interview. 

The new 7a classification will also change the structure of the classifications as a whole. 

“The top 24 high schools in the state by student enrollment will be 7a. The next 24 will be 6a. The next 24 will be 5 A and then the other reminder of our school will be divided evenly between 1a and 4a, that’s going to be about 40 schools in each classification.” said Neaves 

The Golden Wave leads the pack with 1,907 students enrolled. Tupelo will be in 7a with other schools such as Biloxi, Oxford, and Brandon. This will ramp up the heat for Golden Wave athletics, but some coaches like the new change. 

“I like the seven classifications. It gives [Tupelo] a chance, on the football side and other sports [to schedule] cross-division games. We can schedule games with teams that are in other divisions.” Tupelo Athletic Director Jason Miller said. 

“At the end of the day, we know at Tupelo, regardless of what classifications come in. We’ll always be at the top,” Assistant basketball coach Pashonda Edwards said.

The coaches at Tupelo like the idea of the 7a classification as well for their teams even though some worry it may mean more time on the road traveling to and from games. 

“We’ll still be playing the same teams [that we play] in the playoffs. I’m hoping travel won’t be too much [for volleyball],” Assistant  Volleyball coach Bert Martin said. Martin said that may be different for other sports like football and basketball. 

Nonetheless, the football coaches are advocates for the 7a classification despite the travel concerns.  

“I’m all for it and I don’t care what division we’re in or region we’re in. We’ve got to go and compete on each one. It doesn’t bother me at all.” Football coach Tereif Osborn said.

Additional reporting by Jevon Edwards.