Success on the gridiron can mean bigger enrollment, and bigger enrollment means moving up the AHSAA ladder. Hillcrest High of Tuscaloosa is about to find that out, as first reported by the Tuscaloosa Patch.

The report says "the Alabama High School Athletic Association is set to elevate Hillcrest High School to AHSAA Class 7A as part of its 2024-2025 re-classifications."

That's big news for the 6A power and its coaches.

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But there's more: the report says HHS will not just move up, but be put in the state's toughest region [3], something Tuscaloosa County knows about all too well.

Word is that the Pats athletic program move into the same region with Thompson, Tuscaloosa County, Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Hewitt-Trussville, Oak Mountain and Spain Park.

The going just got tougher for Hillcrest nation.

While there is no word yet about 2024 schedules, the change means that Hillcrest and Tuscaloosa County will n ow meet every season.

That means current Patriots head coach Jamie Mitchell will face ex-Patriots coach Adam Weingarden of County High annually. That's fun stuff for a rivalry that has not taken place the past two seasons and has been missed by fans of both schools

As Patch points out, Mitchell is the first Hillcrest High coach to win 10 or more games in three straight seasons, in addition to posting back-to-back undefeated regular seasons for the first time in school history.

Mitchell's 12-win season in 2023 was just the second time the Pats have won 12 games in a season, with the only other coach to do so being Winegarden in 2011.

Tuscaloosa's High School Football Programs

Here are some of the high school football programs located in or around the Druid City!


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