The Arkansas Activities Association released its reclassification numbers for the 2014-2016 athletic cycle. Due to enrollment declines, the Helena-West Helena Central Cougars will find themselves in unfamiliar territory after an almost two decade run in Class 5A. The Cougars are the 4th largest Class 4A school for the upcoming two-year cycle. This will mean a new conference with lots of new opponents not traditionally on the Cougars schedule
Coach Russell Smith said, "We have been losing kids. Having new opponents will be exciting for the program. We will be reaching out to some of our traditional rivals to attempt to schedule nonconference contests." The Cougars will spend 2013 as the only non-Pulaski County school in the 5A-Central. Conference assignments will be announced by the AAA in a few weeks.
The Barton Bears will remain in Class 3A despite slight enrollment growth over the past two years. However, the Bears will see some changes to their conference with Riverview moving up to Class 4A. With Marianna dropping down to Class 3A, it is possible that the two schools will meet on the gridiron for the first time in the modern playoff era, which should make for an exciting HWY 1 battle.