The move of Mount de Sales, Stratford and Tattnall Square from the GISA to the GHSA has been focused on quite a bit for the past year-and-a-half. It was much the same way when FPD made the same move before the 2010-11 school year.
And with good reason.
This move is good for these schools and their coaches and athletes. FPD found that out, and the coaches have had nothing but good things to say about the jump and the effect on their programs.
Just a quick prediction: Mount de Sales, Stratford and Tattnall are going to have the same experiences. The GISA once was a viable option for teams and their athletes, but that has changed in the past few years, and the move to the GHSA became necessary for these schools to do what is best for their athletes, both with the competition level they’re facing and the exposure they’re getting from playing those games.
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But the move by these schools is also good for the other GHSA programs in Bibb County (Central, Howard, Northeast, Rutland, Southwest and Westside). Having all these programs in the same association is good for all the players, teams and fans at all of these schools. And it’s good for the community as a whole.
It’s a step forward that all of these teams are playing each other, allowing the student-athletes in this county to compete against each other. More importantly, it gets all the fans on each others’ campuses and can help build rivalries in the county among the public and private schools. Those kinds of rivalries can build school pride, and that can, in turn, build community pride, which is something this county desperately needs.
The Bibb County matchups kick off in football Aug. 29 when Howard and FPD face off at FPD. That game will mark what is believed to be the first time a Bibb County public school team has played a Bibb County private school team in a varsity football game since Mount de Sales took on Mark Smith in 1965, according to research that Ron Seibel did for his terrific cover story for our High School Football preview section. Check out that section in Sunday’s Telegraph, by the way.
That will be a big-time event, and it will be a special night for those teams and their fans.
But it’s not just football. The effects of this move will be felt in all of the other sports these schools compete in, and those are already underway. Mount de Sales started 3-0 in volleyball, while Stratford and Tattnall Square have seen their powerhouse softball programs get going in the GHSA, as well.
There are even more of those games to come, in all sports, as the Cavaliers, Trojans and Eagles teams get deeper into their GHSA schedules. Soon enough, it won’t be a story that they’re playing other GHSA teams, including other Bibb County teams, and that will be a positive for everyone involved.
Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org