Eric Bishop, head football coach, said the Georgia High School Reclassification committee has granted an appeal by the Tigers that it be made a part of Region 6-AAA, moving it out of Region 5-AAA.
Although Bishop is the school’s football coach, he said, the appeal was on behalf of all the athletic programs at the school.
“It was not just a football issue,” he said. “School principal Bruce Mulkey, athletic director Meredith Barnhill and I went on behalf of our athletic program and all our student athletes at Adairsville.”
He said remaining in Region 5-AAA would have proven too costly for Adairsville to compete in its region in the sports programs.
“It would have taken our athletes a great deal of travel time in that region to compete, and our youngsters in every sport were going to have a great deal of lost instructional time,” he said.
He noted the school is two miles from Interstate 75.
“It made more sense to compete in Region 6-AAA rather than Region 5-AAA in terms of travel time,” he said. “Region 6-AAA had more of what was the best fit our kids at Adairsville.”
Region 5-AAA included Adairsville, Pepperell, Haralson County, Central Carrollton, Calloway, Cedartown, Rockmart and potentially the new Meriweather County school that will be voted on Tuesday.
Region 6-AAA includes Adairsville, Calhoun, Coahulla Creek, Gordon Central, Lakeview, Fort Oglethorpe, Murray County, North Murray, Ringgold and Sonoraville.
“Obviously we felt strongly enough that this was best for our student body. We took the time and effort to prepare and present an analysis of its impact,” Bishop said. “Obviously we are glad we’ll be back in our old region. So many of those schools have historically been in our region or sub-region.”
Bishop said Adairsville has known and competed against some of those schools for years and identifies with them.
Those rivals include high schools like Sonoraville, Gordon Central and Calhoun as well as Ringgold.
He said that was not the case with Region 5-AAA, where they were designated to join.
Bishop said Adairsville’s analysis indicated a negative impact on the athletic programs’ finances.
“It was have almost doubled our travel expenses,” he said. “When you figure that, the distance, gate receipts not what they would have been, sadly, we would have been financially crippled.”
Bishop said the problem would have been worsened because Adairsville has a lot of students who participate in two and three sports.
“At Adairsville we pride ourselves that our athletes play multiple sports,” he said. “That means we could have had some of our athletes lose instructional time potentially every season.”
The coach said the reclassification committee listened to Adairsville’s concerns and that’s what the school hoped for.
“We wanted to get down there and do what we could for our student body,” he said. “Our goal is to put our kids in the best possible situation to be successful.”
Adairsville will begin playing in its new region in the fall.