August 13, 2013

Schedule full again for Christian Heritage football

Devin Golden
devingolden@daltoncitizen.com

— Christian Heritage School’s varsity football team has found its 10th game, but there are still some important questions the Lions don’t know the answers to.

Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy (SACA) decided to fold its football program earlier this month, a move that left several Region 6-A teams without a game on their 2013 regular-season schedule, including Christian Heritage. The Lions have since found a replacement game against Providence Christian Academy on Oct. 25.

Providence Christian, also in Atlanta, is a new program — with only one varsity game listed on the Georgia High School Football Historians Association website (ghsfha.org) — and is not playing a full varsity schedule or region schedule this season, Christian Heritage coach Preston Poag said.

Christian Heritage was scheduled to play SACA, a Sub-region 6A-A opponent, at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 25 in Dalton. The date, time and location did not change when Providence Christian was added to the schedule.

However, the meaning of the contest could.

While Providence Christian is a member of the Georgia High School Association (GHSA), the game may leave Christian Heritage without much-needed points in Class A’s power rating system that is used to determine the 16-team fields for the separate public school and private school state playoffs.

A win garners 10 power-rating points, but teams can get extra points in two ways — by playing higher-classification teams and by playing teams with good records.

However, the GHSA executive committee previously ruled that games against opponents playing non-region schedules will not factor into the power rating.

“I talked to (GHSA executive director) Ralph Swearngin and asked him what they will do with Providence playing a non-region schedule and JV teams, and he said they’d do what was right,” Poag said. “I’m not sure what they’re going to do with the power ratings, whether they’re going to give everyone the points as if it was a win over Southwest Atlanta or what. I don’t think they know what they’re going to do.”

Only the postseason is divided, so Class A’s public schools and private schools continue to play one another during the regular season and in sub-region and region contests.

Poag said he wanted a game either Oct. 25 or the Friday before or after, because there were openings each week.

“If I didn’t get (Providence Christian), then I’d have three weeks before our next game,” Poag said.

“It wouldn’t be very good. This will keep us sharp.”

The 10 teams SACA was scheduled to play had to scramble to find a replacement game. Many paired up in a mutual bye week. According to ghsfha.org,

Mount Pisgah Christian will play Our Lady of Mercy, which also will fill Darlington’s vacancy. Walker and Trion will play one another.

SACA’s first scheduled game was against North Cobb Christian, which also plays a non-region schedule.

Mount Zion-Carroll and Gordon Lee, two teams in Christian Heritage’s sub-region, have nine games listed on ghsfha.org.

“I’m glad we found someone because there’s not many teams out there,” Poag said. “I’m not even sure if Gordon Lee has found someone to play.”