Dalton High School Catamounts

December 12, 2013

GHSA committee to review Class 5A

THOMASVILLE — The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) has called an emergency meeting to specifically address the recent sports reclassification of state Class 5A.

The Tuesday meeting of the Reclassification Committee is of particular interest to Thomas County Central High School and its fans since that is the classification the Yellow Jackets were placed in for football competition by the GHSA, while at the same time placed in Class 4A for every other sport because of geographic isolation.

That decision subsequently created a wave of confusion and discontent within the high school community since Central was declared to be an isolated school which should have qualified it for a more travel- and expense-friendly region placement.

In response to that decision, the school system submitted a letter of protest to the GHSA.

“Three high schools in (Class 5A) were granted isolation status for all sports while our school was singled out along with only two others for what appears to be discriminatory treatment,” Thomas County Superintendent Dusty Kornegay said. “Of the 451 GHSA high schools in the state, 448 of them are in the same classification for all sports. Why should TCCHS and Bainbridge be singled out for disparate treatment?”

Camden County is slated to play Class 5A in all sports except for football. In football, the Wildcats are playing in Class 6A. Evans — near Augusta — along with Richmond Hill and Effingham County — both suburbs of Savannah — were allowed to play down in Class 5A in all sports because of isolation in Class 6A.

Because of its enrollment numbers, Dalton was recently classified as a Class 5A school. However, if changes are made for Thomas County Central, Bainbridge and Camden County, there could be a ripple effect across Class 5A. Another issue the GHSA will address is Region 6-5A, which has 17 teams in the region. Again, any changes could have a ripple effect across the state.

“We have tried to slice and dice the data used by the classification committee every way that we can to find a legitimate explanation for the committee’s decision,” Kornegay said. “The reasons that we were given fall apart under very basic scrutiny, leading us to believe that there may have been other agendas at work. The school district trusts that the concerns raised in its letter will be given careful consideration by the GHSA reclassification committee. We intend to do everything that we can to get fair treatment for our students and our community.”

The primary concerns expressed by Thomas County Central center on the extreme travel burdens the school and community will face as part of a 5A schedule, with an average distance of over 140 miles per game one way anticipated. The system also addressed concern about the other schools in Georgia being given geographic isolation status in all sports while others were not, as well as confusion regarding whether the school would be considered a 5A school or a 4A school.

“For example, we specifically wanted to know how our school would be represented with things like the All Sports Trophy which is awarded to the schools in each class that excel in all of their athletic programs,” Kornegay stated. “Would our representation be in class 5A or 4A? How would our points for that trophy be compiled? There are numerous logistical problems with dual classification that have not been adequately contemplated by the current GHSA Constitution and By-Laws. On the surface, it appears the GHSA was not ready for a change this big.”

The anticipated costs involved with the split classification designation were also a primary concern for the school system.

“We did attempt to address how much it was going to cost Thomas County for the excessive travel our football program would be incurring with the schedule our team would be facing with a 5A slate,” Kornegay added. “On average, we calculated the total cost for each of the long trips to be near $8,000 per game. Knowing that we would have four such trips on our schedule, we felt that was unreasonable.”

Kornegay anticipates that those concerns and others regarding Central’s status will be discussed during this meeting.

“It is our hope that the GHSA will consider all of the points we have made about what we believe is a decision that was made without adequate evaluation of all the particular circumstances that are unique to Thomas County Central,” Kornegay concluded. “We do understand that this is a complicated issue and that many different elements come into play. However, our primary concern is the well-being of our students and the Thomas County community as a whole, and we intend to see those concerns adequately addressed.”

1
Text Only
Dalton High School Catamounts
  • NW at DHS baseball (g3) 1 mlh.jpg Whatever it takes

    Northwest Whitfield High School’s baseball team has been successful this season. But at the same time, no one said success would be easy.
    Several times this year, the Bruins have fallen behind early in the first few innings before answering with a rally to ensure the wins keep coming. On Friday, that formula delivered a Sub-region 7B-4A championship for the second year in a row.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • DHS at SE soccer 7 mlh.jpg Prep Roundup: Unbeaten streak rolls on for Cats

    Replicating the start of last year’s Class 4A state title match, Dalton High School’s boys soccer team needed just four minutes to score its first goal at Southeast Whitfield on Friday.
    The Catamounts scored five more — and again defended their crown of dominance in the sport.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep Roundup: Bruins power past Cats for key victory at home

    TUNNEL HILL — Similar to Wednesday’s Sub-region 7B-4A baseball series opener at Dalton High School, Northwest Whitfield fell behind early Thursday versus the Catamounts.

    April 11, 2014

  • NW at SE baseball 7   mlh.jpg Prep Baseball: Looking for a leader

    Dalton High School baseball coach Shane Ramsey only needed one word to sum up what he expects from this week’s three-game series with Sub-region 7B-4A foe and intracounty rival Northwest Whitfield.
    “Intensity,” he said. “If you can’t get up for this series, then why are you playing?”

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep Roundup: Dalton golf teams in form at Fields Ferry

    Even in wet and muddy conditions, both the Dalton High School boys and girls golf teams are sharpening their games at the right time.
    With the Region 7-4A tournament scheduled in two weeks, both the Catamounts and the Lady Cats finished second during play at the Fields Ferry Invitational in Calhoun on Monday. Despite the soggy conditions, Dalton’s Jacob Brown tied for medalist honors with a 2-over par 74 to lead the Cats to a 313 combined score in the six-play, four-score format. Dalton finished three strokes behind tournament winner LaFayette.

    April 8, 2014

  • Wrestler of the year 2014 2 mlh.jpg All-Area Wrestling Team and Wrestler of the Year: Winning another title was the only goal for Wheeler

    When Dalton High School wrestler Sidney Wheeler won a state title for the first time two years ago as a sophomore, he admitted he became a little complacent about what it would take to replicate the feat — perhaps not noticeably so to most observers, but enough to take success for granted. Wheeler believed it a matter of course that he would win state again, and he thought the second title would simply be the middle child in a high school three-peat.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep Roundup: Behr finds his stroke in Vidalia

    Dalton High School golfer Allen Behr shot a 3-under-par 69 during the second day of the Indian Invitational in Vidalia to lead the Catamounts to a top-10 finish in the event Saturday.

    April 6, 2014

  • dhs v lafayette baseball1.jpg Out of control victory

    Dalton and LaFayette high schools are on spring break this week, and on Monday their baseball teams’ pitching took a vacation when it came to throwing strikes.
    The teams combined for 14 walks and four hit batters in a Sub-region 7B-4A game at Dalton, although most of the damage belonged to the host Catamounts, who won 5-4 despite their control problems.

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • dhs baseball signing sane1.jpg Prep Baseball: Sane taking his drive to Chattanooga State

    Grant Sane isn’t a player who is concerned with his stats or his individual accomplishments. He is more interested in doing whatever he can do for his Dalton High School baseball team to be successful.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ridgeland at DHS baseball 3 mlh.jpg Sharp enough to win

    Dalton High School freshman pitcher Sam Stepp found himself in a jam a lot during Wednesday’s home game against Ridgeland.
    He always found a way out.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo