The Georgia High School Association recently voted to change the current classification system from five to six classes. You might want to give Raider athletic director Randell Owens a high five.
Madison County is one of the smaller Class AAAA schools in the state. And it is grouped in a region with schools that aren’t close by. Think Rockdale County, Salem, Heritage.
So, Owens sees a shift from five to six classifications as a potential way for Madison County to move back into familiar territory, taking a bus to Franklin County, or Elbert County, not Rockdale County.
The changes will take effect in 2012-2013. The GHSA has had five classifications since 2000. Reclassification and region assignments, however, won’t be official until the fall when school FTE count numbers are released.
“When you have a baseball team traveling to Franklin County for a doubleheader, you’re not paying nearly as much in gas as a game at Salem,” said Owens.
And that’s not to mention the travel time that cuts into students’ study time and cuts down on fans’ incentive to travel to support the team.
Owens said that when Madison County remained in Class AAAA rather than dropping down to AAA, the school took a hit at the gate, bringing in considerably less money since schools from far away won’t bring as many fans as schools from close by.
“The change would help at the gate and with transportation costs,” said Owens. “It’s also a better situation from a competitive standpoint. I think it would help us significantly in several ways.”