It has been quite a week for our area in sports.
Let’s start with Sept. 21. On that day, the GHSA announced that it was returning a portion of its high school basketball championships to Macon.
Our city had been part of the state championships forever, it seemed, until the well-documented debacle in 2015. That year, there were issues with the basketball goals being in the wrong spot, yes, you heard that right, problems with Macon Coliseum as a whole and parking problems that should never have been a problem.
Well, with a new management group leading the arena, it looks like those issues are in the process of being fixed. The arena is getting a new floor and upgrades to the lighting, locker rooms and wireless connection that have been long overdue.
Hats off to the leadership of our town for realizing just how much we were missing without this event being at the Macon Coliseum. And hats off to the GHSA for realizing how much sense it makes for Macon to host this event.
It just makes too much sense for the event, along with the state’s dual wrestling and traditional wrestling championships, to not be in Macon, and it’s a good thing that everyone involved worked together to make that happen.
But that was just the beginning of a terrific few days.
On Saturday, former Houston County standout Jake Fromm took the spotlight as Georgia faced off with Mississippi State. In a top-25 showdown, Fromm made his first SEC start, and he more than proved he belonged on that stage.
Fromm completed 9-of-12 passes with two drops and a throw-away for a near-perfect night, and it definitely had a perfect start as Fromm hit Terry Godwin for a long touchdown pass on Georgia’s first play.
There has been a lot of debate about Fromm versus Jacob Eason and who should be Georgia’s starting quarterback since Fromm signed with Georgia and enrolled in classes in January. There isn’t much of a debate now.
Sure, Eason has all the tools needed to be a terrific college quarterback, but Fromm showed once again Saturday he also has all those tools. And he has some intangibles that we have yet to see Eason display.
Fromm also has another key on his side: winning. As Crash Davis said in “Bull Durham,” you never mess with a streak, and as long as the Bulldogs are winning with Fromm starting, he should stay in that spot. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart can’t mess with that streak. If he does and things go wrong, it could derail this season, which appears to be headed toward an SEC East title.
A day after Fromm’s big game, former Stratford standout Russell Henley put on a show at the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club. Henley, who was inducted into the Stratford Athletic Hall of Fame on Wednesday, had the round of the day in the final round with a 5-under-par 65 to finish tied for third.
The strong showing capped Henley’s best year on the PGA Tour as he added a win (Houston Open), his best finish at the Masters (11th) to earn another trip to Augusta National Golf Club in April and made the cut at the other three majors and the Players Championship. That year gives Henley a lot of momentum entering next season, and he looks more and more like a player who is going to make a big splash on the PGA Tour.