Charlton County’s long streak of consecutive playoff appearances is saved by the Georgia High School Association’s new Class A points system, and Whitefield Academy is out despite defeating and finishing higher in Region 5 than another team that made it. Those are some of the controversial results from the final power rankings released on Tuesday by the GHSA, with the help of MaxPreps.
For the first time, the GHSA is holding separate state championships for Class A public and private schools. Each division will hold a 16-team playoff to determine its champion. Teams will be seeded 1-16 based on the points system, with region champions getting the highest seeds.
Schools that believe their power ratings points are incorrect have until noon Wednesday to file an appeal to the GHSA. The GHSA Appeals Committee will meet at 1 p.m. to verify the results, including appeals, and break ties. The playoff brackets will be posted on the GHSA Web site later on Wednesday.
Six teams will make it to the playoffs this season that would not have made it using the old system. They are Charlton County, Commerce, Greenville, Gordon Lee, Hancock Central and Mount Pisgah Christian.
Six teams will not make it to the playoffs that would have made it using the old system. They are Hawkinsville, Jenkins County, Mitchell County, Mount Paran Christian and Telfair County and Terrell County.
Here’s a region-by-region breakdown of how the power rankings affected the playoff lineups, keeping in mind that the results are not final until the appeals are heard and the GHSA verifies the numbers:
*Region 1-A: This region had the fewest teams qualify for the playoffs of any Class A region as only Seminole County and Miller County made it. Seminole and Miller finished tied for eighth in the power rankings, although Seminole County won the region title. Seminole will be the lowest seed of the four public school region champions. Third-place Mitchell County (23rd in the power rankings) and fourth-place Terrell County (26th) did not make the playoffs.
*Region 2-A: Region champion Wilcox County (2nd), Irwin County (5th), Turner County (12th) and Charlton County (10th) qualified for the public-school playoffs. Telfair County (21st), which finished in a three-way tie with Turner and Charlton for third place in the region and beat both during the regular season, did not qualify while the other two did. Charlton County will be making its 23rd consecutive state playoff appearance, a streak that would have ended using the old system because it lost to Telfair and Turner during the season and would have been the fifth-place team.
*Region 3-A: Region champion Emanuel County Institute (3rd, public) and private schools Savannah Christian (7th) and Calvary Day (4th) were the only playoff qualifiers from 3-A. Under the old system, Jenkins County also would have advanced after beating Johnson County in a region play-in game. However, Jenkins County finished 18th in the public-school rankings, 8/100th of a point behind the final playoff teams.
*Region 4-A: Region champion Brookstone (9th, private) and public schools Dooly County (4th), Marion County (6th) and Greenville (tied for 15th) are the playoff teams. Hawkinsville finished in fourth place in the regular season, one game ahead of playoff-bound Greenville, and beat Greenville but will not advance after finishing 22nd in the public-school rankings.
*Region 5-A: This is the only region in which the four playoff teams in the new system are the same as they would have been under the old system. All are private schools. Eagle’s Landing Christian (2nd) is the region champion and will be joined in the playoffs by Landmark Christian (12th), Holy Innocents’ (10th) and Our Lady of Mercy (15th).
*Region 6-A: Public schools Trion (11th) and Gordon Lee (14th) and private schools Walker (3rd), Darlington (6th) and Mount Pisgah Christian (16th) will advance to the playoffs. Gordon Lee lost its region play-in game against Walker and would not have made the playoffs last season. Whitefield Academy missed the playoffs by the narrowest of margins. The Wolfpack finished in second place in Division B, one game ahead of playoff-bound Mount Pisgah, and beat Mount Pisgah during the regular season but finished 1/100th of a point behind the Patriots for the final playoffs spot. It is worth noting, however, that Whitefield lost its play-in game against Trion and would not have made the playoffs under the old system, either. Division A champion Mount Zion (24th, public) also failed to make the playoffs.
*Region 7-A: The top five teams in the region advanced to the postseason. Region champion Lincoln County (1st), runner-up Wilkinson County (7th) and fifth-place Hancock Central (tied for 15th) made it among public schools, and third-place Aquinas (5th) and fourth-place First Presbyterian (13th) will be in the private-school tournament.
*Region 8-A: The biggest winner in the new system likely is Commerce, which went 1-5 in region play and finished in sixth place among the seven teams in the region. But Commerce finished 13th in the public-school power rankings and will advance to the playoffs. Athens Academy (1st), George Walton Academy (11th), Prince Avenue Christian (8th) and Athens Christian (14th) will play in the private-school tournament.