Thomas County wins appeal, Bearcats drop 5A status

Published 12:22 am Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Screen shot 2014-01-15 at 12.20.19 AMThomas County Central won their appeal to move down to Class AAAA sports at the final meeting of the Georgia High School Administration’s executive committee in Macon Tuesday, and Bainbridge High School will follow them.
Thomas County argued that because of isolation and financial reasons, they would need to play down to a class more geographically suitable. Denied twice before by GHSA, once last week in a 10-2 vote, Thomas County’s third appeal was granted Tuesday by a 32-13 vote.
Because Bainbridge is the only Class AAAAA school geographically close to Thomas County Central in Southwest Georgia, they were also chosen to descend to a Class AAAA region.
“Lots of people wondered why we didn’t appeal the original region alignments,” Bearcats football coach Jeff Littleton said. “Well, we have AAAAA enrollment numbers and we were satisfied being in Region 1AAAAA.With Thomas County Central winning the appeal to be placed down to Region 1AAAA, we would have had tremendous travel and scheduling difficulties.”
Bainbridge High School would have no other Class AAAAA schools to compete against for over a hundred miles. These schools included Carver-Columbus, Columbus, Hardaway, Harris County, LaGrange, Northside Columbus and Shaw. At the meeting Tuesday, Bainbridge sent in their appeal to be moved with Thomas County.
The new 1AAAA region includes Albany, Americus-Sumter, Bainbridge, Cairo, Cook (all but football), Crisp County, Dougherty, Monroe-Albany, Thomas County Central, Westover and Worth County.
“We are excited to be in this new region, with lots of area teams, from a competitive, financial, and scheduling standpoint,” Littleton said.

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