GISA schools need to make best decision for themselves

dshirley@macon.comJanuary 31, 2013 

We’ve had a week to digest Mount de Sales’ decision to jump from the GISA to the GHSA for its athletics teams.

And it still looks like a good decision for the school’s teams moving forward.

The GISA once was a strong league, and the local teams -- Mount de Sales, FPD, Tattnall Square and Stratford -- thrived as members. But the GISA just isn’t what it once was.

The number of teams, especially in the highest classification, continues to dwindle, and that has hurt the level of competition. FPD saw that a couple of years ago and made the move, and Mount de Sales voted last week to do the same.

For Mount de Sales, there is a bit of a risk. Mount de Sales will make the move in the 2014-15 school year, and there is some uncertainty where it will land in the GHSA.

The GHSA had its public-private school split for Class A this year and likely will have it again next year. What happens after that is anyone’s guess. The split could remain, but there are some issues with it that need to be worked out, and there has been talk of bringing back a multiplier for private schools’ enrollment numbers (when the multiplier existed before, each student in a private school counted as 1.5).

If the multiplier does return, that could bump Mount de Sales up to Class AA and out of any chances of being in the same region as FPD. Still, that’s better than having to search and search for games to play and travel as much as Mount de Sales has to in the GISA. On top of that, the competition and exposure for the Mount de Sales athletes will be better in the GHSA.

Just ask anyone with the FPD athletics program. Most involved with the Vikings likely will give a positive report on their experience in the GHSA. There are always situations that could be improved, but overall, the school’s teams are better off after the move.

Mount de Sales decided it was time to find that out, as well, and Stratford and Tattnall will have to chose what’s best for them moving forward.

That’s the key here. Stratford and Tattnall have to do what’s best for them. If it’s a move to the GHSA, then they should do it. But if they decide it’s best to stay in the GISA, then they should do that.

Leaders at both schools said after hearing of Mount de Sales’ move that they would take their time in making the decision, and they should. It’s a big decision, not one to be taken lightly -- either way.

Both schools need to make the decision that best works for their teams and athletes. They shouldn’t worry about what the other one is doing or what Mount de Sales did last week or what FPD did a couple of years ago.

The talk of a pact that Macon’s big four private schools had as far as moving together to the GHSA never made sense. All four schools have different mission statements, and their leaders should be doing what is best for their own school without being influenced by another school.

FPD did just that when it made the move, and it was criticized loudly by fans of other schools for jumping the gun by moving before the others were ready. But FPD’s leaders should not have waited for the other schools to make a decision if they thought the move was best for their teams and athletes.

Mount de Sales took that same step last week. We’ll see if there are any more dominoes to fall after that in the next couple of months.

Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or

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