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Could the Sixth Region soon be in Bullitt's rearview mirror?

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By Mike Farner

SHEPHERDSVILLE - Let the rumors begin!

Earlier this summer, the grapevine was ripe with news that the Kentucky High School Athletic Association was beginning the process of realigning the state’s 16 regions for girls’ and boys’ basketball, baseball and softball.

The KHSAA did the same thing about six years ago and that led to Bullitt County’s move from the Eighth Region to the Sixth Region. That has been the law of the land for the past four years.

As everyone remembers, the move four years ago was not a popular one for the three Bullitt County schools. The three had always been in the Eighth Region and change after doing something for 35 years is never easy.

After the past four years, the feelings have simmered down a little, but overall, the move to the Sixth Region has not been accepted as the best for everyone.

First and foremost, fans looking at this need to remember one thing, the KHSAA isn’t going to make any decision based on what is best for Bullitt County. The state group will look at what is best for the entire state.

Part of the reason for the realignment is new schools springing up across the state. In the next two years, new high schools will be built in both Shelby County and Nelson County. There is also talk that a number of smaller, private schools would like to join the KHSAA.

Second, any talk now probably wouldn’t be made official until next summer and the moves would not be put into place for at least two years. This is not something that is going to happen overnight.

While the KHSAA will not do what Bullitt County specially wants, they will listen to what all the schools think is best.

On the plus side, there have been some positives from the three Bullitt County schools moving from the Eighth Region to the Sixth Region. The most obvious being that there is a lot less travel involved. That means lower costs and students being home earlier on school nights.

In addition, at least for baseball and softball, there is the fact that the regional tournaments are held at some of the best facilities in the state. It is a wonderful reward for a great season to be able to play at Jim Patterson Stadium (baseball) or Ulmer Stadium (softball) in the post-season.

Conversely, there are corresponding negatives.

One of those being that when Bullitt County joined the Sixth Region, they pretty much also joined the Seventh Region. In Jefferson County, the two regions do just about everything hand-in-hand. Even if a majority of Sixth Region schools wanted something done one way, they have to get the Seventh Region to go along also.

The Jefferson County public schools have an overall athletic director as well as each of the schools having athletic directors. Bullitt County schools work much more on their own than Jefferson County schools. In addition, Jefferson County subsidizes their programs more than Bullitt County does.

On the district level, the Bullitt County schools could not ask for much better partners than Southern and Fairdale in the 24th District. The local schools don’t always see eye-to-eye with the two Jefferson County schools, but that is going to happen no matter who our district rivals turn out to be.

In basketball, Fairdale has done a fine job running a district tournament and Southern has wonderful facilities for softball and baseball district events. Generally speaking, those two schools take athletics more seriously than a number of Jefferson County schools.

What could happen if there is a major realignment? Some options and some rumors in Wednesday’s edition.