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GHSA has big meetings on schedule
Tomorrow night local eyes will look toward Effingham County and the preseason scrimmage that kicks off the 2015 season, a season that good, bad, or otherwise, is already greatly anticipated.
That scrimmage is for the football season that is upon us, but Sunday and Monday there are some really big GHSA meetings that may well have great impact upon the athletic calendars of the 2016-17 and 2017-18 campaigns.
The scrimmage is what it is, a tune up, but, again, the GHSA meetings are, well, important. Among the two most noteworthy things are reclassification and tennis.
OK, anyone paying any attention at all is up on the reclassification debate. Of course, this group is supposed to fix the private school problem. Do you really think that they will? On that matter we will see. For the record, the subcommittee on this matter meets Sunday at 1:30 at the Marriott Macon City Center Hotel. The full meeting, like all others, will be Monday.
There are eight reclassification proposals left over from a meeting on July 20. Presumably one of them will be the final version sent to the Executive Committee. You can find them on the GHSA website. Find the minutes of the meeting from that date.
Of great interest, especially locally, is the meeting of the tennis committee. The subcommittee will meet Sunday morning at 10:30 at the same place with the full committee to meet Monday. Here is the proposal of Region 5AAAAAA- make tennis a fall sport. Say what? This has come up before and never passed. SCHS tennis coach Diane Freeman says a lot of coaches think it has a chance this year.
This is a really, really big deal for our girls. While there are not a lot of football-playing tennis boys, for much of last season five of the starting girls’ lineup was softball players. The number this year may only be two, but still, these girls would be forced to make a choice that they do not have to make right now, and have never had to make. Just to look at other years, in 2014 five tennis starters were softball players, in 2013 five tennis starters were softball players, in 2012 four tennis starters were softball players, and in 2011 four starters were softball players. It keeps going.
We have a limited pool of quality tennis and quality softball players. Coaches do not have to compete for these athletes as it stands. If the combination of four Cobb County schools, three Cherokee County schools, and a pair of Fulton County schools of Region 5AAAAAA, each with more than 2,000 students, get their way, two of our proudest programs are going to take a hit. Now that region does have some tennis powers, Walton won the state in boys and girls tennis last spring. But I wonder how many softball players, from a team that did not even make the playoffs, were on that tennis team? But sports in schools with 2,000-plus students are not forced to compete for athletes.
Why does this come up you ask? According to Freeman the reasons apparently include weather related issues (February is cold and March and April are wet leading to beaucoup cancellations and rescheduling problems. Those are not fall problems, but lightning delays are), light related issues (days are longer in the fall -- fewer early releases- many schools do not have lighted tennis courts. Of course lightning delays get back into the same problem), and less competition for school buses. Maybe these are good, but for me, our girls come first.
If you don’t get the Georgia High School Sports Daily, if you are a high school football fan I really don’t see why this would be true, there were some interesting numbers regarding coaches in the issues from Friday and Monday. The numbers regarded the longest tenured coaches in AAA and AA. A couple of names jumped out at me.
In AAA our own John Thomas Pollock (much better known as J.T.) is the fourth longest tenured coach. He is entering his 11th season at Appling County (say it ain’t so!). That classification finds the longest at 24, two more at 17, and one at 12. Then come three with 11. Has it really been that long? By the way his record in the previous ten years is 73-39-2 (.652). Sandy Hershey is the winningest coach here at 68-51-4 and that took 12 seasons. J.T. is also on the Reclassification Committee.
On Monday, the Class AA tenures were listed and another former Gamecock defensive coordinator made that list. Lee Chomskis is now, in terms of years, the sixth most tenured coach with nine years at Vidalia. In those nine years at VHS, he is 63-27. Overall Lee is 66-44 with two forgettable years at Evans where every road trip was to metro Atlanta. He once appealed for geographic isolation and was denied. Remember that tomorrow night’s opponent Effingham County is playing in AAAAA, but is really AAAAAA. Their appeal for geographic isolation was approved, as was one for another old foe, Richmond Hill.
Burton Kemp Jr. is a contributing writer for the Sylvania Telephone.