Sumiton Christian is back in Class 1A.
After opening as a 1A football team in its first year in the Alabama High School Athletic Association in 2000, the Eagles have dropped a classification heading into the 2012 football season.
Sumiton Christian, which was a Class 3A team as recently as 2009, spent the last two years in Class 2A. Thanks to the move to 1A, the Eagles have plenty of new teams on this year’s schedule.
Sumiton Christian, which made the playoffs last season and finished 6-5 after an opening-round playoff loss to Fyffe, has previously played just three region teams on this season’s schedule: Appalachian, Collinsville and Falkville.
Sumiton Christian loses 2A powers Tanner and Fultondale off of its schedule from last year as well as West End-Walnut Grove, Cold Springs, Cleveland, Oakman and Westminster Christian.
The Eagles, now in 1A, Region 6, face region foes: Shades Mountain Christian, Appalachian, Meek, Falkville, Addison, Ragland and Southeastern. Sumiton Christian doesn’t play a game in Week 6 after Jefferson Christian dropped its football program.
Sumiton Christian has just three road games this season with two coming in the first three weeks.
The Eagles also plays just two non-region games, facing Collinsville (11-2 in 2011) and Class 4A Corner (6-5) in the regular-season finale.
Sumiton Christian opens the season at Shades Mountain (3-7). Shades Mountain Christian opened in 2006. The team has an all-time record of 14-46.
Perennial playoff team Appalachian (6-5) makes the trip to Sumiton Christian in Week 2. Appalachian has made the playoffs each of the last eight years. The Eagles are 2-0 all time in the series, winning in 2000 and 2001.
Sumiton Christian makes the short trip to Meek (1-9) for a Week 3 region game against the Tigers. This will be the first meeting between the teams.
The Eagles play just one road game over the last six weeks. Collinsville travels to Sumiton Christian in Week 4. Collinsville opened 2011 with nine straight wins before losing to Ragland in the regular-season finale. The Panthers were also eliminated by Ragland in the playoffs. Collinsville’s 11 wins were the second most in school history. Sumiton Christian is 1-1 all-time against Collinsville, winning in 2000 and losing in 2001.
Sumiton Christian hosts Falkville (1-9) in Week 5. The Blue Devils are the only region holdover from last season. The Eagles are 2-0 against Falkville, winning each of the last two years. The Blue Devils are under new head coach Joe Schrenk.
After an off week, the Eagles face what could be their toughest two-week stretch of the season with games against Addison (9-2) and Ragland (13-1).
Addison is under new coach David Smothers, who is the son of former coach Steven Smothers, who led the Bulldogs form 1992 to 2000. David Smothers is the third Addison coach in four years. This year’s game marks the first meeting between the Bulldogs and Eagles.
Sumiton Christian follows with a Week 8 game at Ragland. The Purple Devils have won back-to-back region titles and are also under a new coach, Jonathan Nix. Ragland has advanced to the postseason each of the last 11 years. This will be the first game between the teams.
The Eagles host Southeastern in Week 9. Southeastern, located in Blount County, is in its first year.
Sumiton Christian closes the season at home against Corner (6-5). The Yellow Jackets have won the last four meetings in the series and will be under new coach Zac Willis this year.