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Tuesday December 7th, 2021 7:00AM

GHSA: Class A merger put on hold; 7-3A & 8-4A have new members

By Bo Wilson Sports Editor

The debate to merge Class A private and public school leagues needs more discussion, according to GHSA President Glenn White. 

He spoke up during the reclassification's meeting on region appeals Thursday at the GHSA office in Thomaston. 

White believed "the committee was not ready to pass any proposal that had been brought up at this meeting."

Committee chair Curt Miller asked the committee to table the discussion of the possible merger. The committee approved Miller's recommendation.  

The merger discussion comes on the heels of 10 private schools leaving for the Georgia Independent School Association. Lakeview Academy in Gainesville is one of those schools packing their bags for the GISA. More private schools are expected to leave the GHSA in the coming weeks. 

If the merger happens, it would affect the two Class A Public schools in the coverage area: Towns County and Commerce. 

Commerce head coach Mark Hollars says he is against a public-private merger. 

"I would prefer that we would be separate in our regions and playoffs," he said. "I’m not opposed to playing private schools in the regular season. In fact, I will commit, we will probably continue to play some private schools. But I do not want to be in the same region and the same playoffs with them, because there are just some certain advantages they have.” 

Earlier in the day, the committee heard appeals from schools wanting to make a lateral move to another region.

Both Gilmer and Pickens academy pitched their appeals based on travel in the new Region 7-3A. Both Pickens and Stephens would have 2 1/2 hour trips to Stephens, Hart and Franklin counties. They won their appeals to move to Region 6-3A in Northwest Georgia.

Oconee County, not pleased with the trips to Augusta in its new region, 8-3A, appealed to jump over to 7-3A. The committee granted Oconee's wishes.

The new 7-3A will be comprised of Dawson County, Franklin County, Hart County, Lumpkin County, Oconee County, White County and West Hall.

In Region 8-4A, Seckinger High School, Gwinnett County's newest school, is located off Sardis Church Road in the Hamilton Mill area, appealed to move into the region and won. Out of all the moves made, this one made the most sense. However, with the move, 8-4A now as 11 teams -- one of the largest regions in all classifications.

Region 8-4A now houses Cedar Shoals, Cherokee Bluff, Chestatee, East Forsyth, East Hall, Johnson, Madison County, North Hall, North Oconee, Seckinger and Walnut Grove.

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