The Georgia High School Association has reversed its' decision on region alignment regarding three south Georgia schools.
Thomas Co. Central and Bainbridge will join Region 1-AAAA in all sports. The Yellow Jackets and Bearcats were originally slated to play football in 1-AAAAA, with all other sports in 1-4A.
Cook will now play football in 1-AAA, while other sports will compete in 1-AAAA.
TCC and Cook had been appealing the original decisions for months.
Many were concerned about the competitive balance of the league if TCC and Bainbridge were to join.
TCC head football coach Bill Shaver says that shouldn't be a concern.
"You have Cairo, who's always been good. Westover's on the upswing. Monroe's been really solid for the last couple years. Worth County's getting back to where they were. Crisp County turned a corner again," says Shaver. "So the competition level I think is just as good or better."
Shaver says the decision will help his team with travel, but he's also excited the Yellow Jackets will compete with some of their natural rivals.
"When we start getting Westover, Crisp County, Americus, and all those that our people grew up with us playing against, I think [our fans] will come out," Shaver says. "We'll also carry a lot better crowd to their place because it's a lot closer and our fans don't have to get off work at noon to get there."
For the schools, including TCC, the decision came as a surprise.
"Actually, [TCC Athletic Director Mike] Singletary and I had driven on Saturday morning all the way up to Columbus in that driving rain, and got our region schedule for what we would have had if we would have stayed in that region," laughs Shaver. "So it's a nice surprise, and we're very happy about it."
Bainbridge had not appealed, but was moved down along with TCC.
Copyright 2014 WALB. All rights reserved.