The only constant, even in high school sports, is change

January 27, 2013 

“Everything must change. Nothing stays the same. Everyone must change. No one stays the same. The young become the old. And mysteries do unfold. Cause that’s the way of time. Nothing and no one goes unchanged”

-- Bernard Ighner and Quincy Jones, 1974

There have been two telling examples of change to hit the pages of this newspaper in the past week or so. We don’t normally editorialize about events in the world of sports, but the local sports scene, particularly football, has been turned upside down, more on the private school side than public.

Barney Hester, the coach at Tattnall Square for 31 years, is leaving the school where he not only served as football coach and athletic director, but for a time, headmaster as well. Hester is headed for new challenges at Howard High School.

Hester comes from a program that has a trophy case filled with 11 GISA championships and 19 region championships. Howard’s case is empty, winning just five games in five seasons.

Certainly, the other announcement, that Mount de Sales would be leaving the GISA for the GHSA, weighed on Hester’s decision. Even though the move by Mount de Sales was not public until a week after his announcement. It was no secret that Mount de Sales was considering the jump, as is his former school and Stratford Academy. In just a short while, what Telegraph sportswriter Jonathan Heeter calls, the Big Three (Tattnall, Mount de Sales and Stratford) could all be headed to the GHSA. First Presbyterian Day School can claim credit for starting the exodus when it bolted, much to the chagrin of the three other schools, in 2009.

It would make sense for the Macon schools still in the GISA to make the move as well. Aside from the fact that a GISA state championship is increasingly empty and the travel costs in time and money, is no longer worth it.

There was apprehension about competitiveness (or lack of) and safety when FPD made the shift to play in the public school arena. Safety concerns have been proven wrong and FPD has shown it can compete. As Heeter pointed out on his blog (macon.com/prepblog). The “Vikings have been successful in several sports.

We all like to wallow in memories. At Southwest High School, Don Richardson’s ghost still resides on the court that bears his name, even though the gym where his teams played and practiced is no more. There was pulling of hair when Robert Davis left Warner Robins High School for Bibb’s Westside. With each generation, new memories are made and the past is soon forgotten, when the new follows the motto of former Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis: “Just win, baby.”

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