Year in review: Public schools win rare titles in A; private schools dominate AAA-AA like never before

The Class A public/private split in the Georgia High School Association opened the door for several public schools to win rare state championships this academic year.

But private school domination in classifications above A reached new highs as seven metro Atlanta private schools won 27 of a possible 39 state championships in AAA and AA. Westminster won a state-record 11 state championships.

Below is a list of state championships by school.

But first, here are some observations about the year that was:

-Georgia Military Academy, a public school in Milledgeville, won its first state title since 1976 and when it claimed the boys’ cross country championship last fall. The last public school to win boys cross country in the lowest classification had been Rabun Gap in 1985.

-Towns County, another Class A public school, won its first state title since 1988. It came in girls cross country. The last public school to win girls cross country in the lowest classification was Whigham, also in 1985. (Whigham, since closed, is near Cairo in south Georgia.)

-Marion County won Class A public state titles in boys tennis and girls track and field. Marion had last won a state championship in 1992 (girls basketball) when known as Tri County High. Meanwhile, Schley County, which split from Tri County in 2000, also won its first-ever state title (girls golf).

-Gordon Lee led all public schools with five state championships in 2012-13. Gordon Lee, a school in Chickamauga in northwest Georgia, is one of the few Class A schools that flourished amid private competition before the split . The school has won 10 state championships over the past 10 years, all in wrestling, golf and softball. Gordon Lee also became only the fourth public school in history to win five state titles in a year. The others are Collins Hill (2004-05, 2007-08, 2009-10), Milton (2011-12), Parkview (1997-98, 2002-03) and Walton (2010-11). Milton won six, the others five.

-Banks County, a AA school that opened in the 1950s, won its first state championship in any sport this academic year in wrestling.  Other schools winning their first GHSA state titles were Archer, Baconton Charter, Greenforest Christian, Mount Paran Christian, Ola, Schley County and Veterans. All of those opened or joined the GHSA in the past 10 years.

-Others schools breaking long title breaks (after GMC’s 38-year drought) include Berkmar (12 years), Cedar Grove (16), Houston County (17) and Johnson-Savannah (21).

- Westminster won a state-record 11 state championships. The previous record, of nine, was held by Marist (2008-09).

-In AAA and AA, there are only seven metro Atlanta private schools – St. Pius, Woodward Academy and Blessed Trinity (AAA) and Westminster, Wesleyan, Lovett and Greater Atlanta Christian (AA). The seven won 27 of a possible 39 state championships, with each school  contributing at least one. Private schools won 20 of 24 possible spring-sport state titles.

State title county by school in 2012-13:

11

Westminster – Cross Country (Boys), Golf (Boys), Lacrosse (Boys), Lacrosse (Girls), Soccer (Boys), Soccer (Girls), Tennis (Boys), Tennis (Girls), Track and Field (Boys), Track and Field (Girls), Swimming (Girls)

7

Marist – Cross Country (Boys), Cross Country (Girls), Golf (Boys), Soccer (Girls), Tennis (Girls), Track and Field (Boys), Track and Field (Girls)

6

St. Pius X – Cross Country (Boys), Cross Country (Girls), Soccer (Boys), Soccer (Girls), Track and Field (Boys), Basketball (Girls)

5

Gordon Lee – Fast Pitch Softball, Golf (Boys), Basketball (Girls), Wrestling (Duals), Wrestling (Traditional)

4

Lambert – Cheerleading, Golf (Girls), Gymnastics (Girls), Swimming (Girls)

Norcross – Football, Golf (Boys), Basketball (Boys), Basketball (Girls)

3

Archer – Fast Pitch Softball , Wrestling (Duals) , Wrestling (Traditional)

Blessed Trinity – Volleyball, Tennis (Boys), Tennis (Girls)

Jefferson – Football, Wrestling (Duals), Wrestling (Traditional)

McIntosh – Cross Country (Boys), Soccer (Boys), Track and Field (Boys)

Pope – Baseball, Wrestling (Duals), Wrestling (Traditional)

2

Brookwood – Cross Country (Girls), Tennis (Boys)

Buford – Fast Pitch Softball, Football

Dalton – Soccer (Boys), Swimming (Boys)

Dunwoody – Cross Country (Girls), Track and Field (Girls)

Eagle’s Landing Christian – Football, Baseball

Gainesville – Football, Golf (Boys)

Gilmer – Wrestling (Duals), Wrestling (Traditional)

Lakeside, Evans – Golf (Girls), Tennis (Girls)

Landmark Christian – Cross Country (Girls), Volleyball

Lovett - Volleyball, Baseball

Marion County – Tennis (Boys), Track and Field (Girls)

Mill Creek – Cross Country (Boys), Track and Field (Boys)

Milton – Baseball, Lacrosse (Girls)

Paideia – Soccer (Boys), Soccer (Girls)

Parkview – Soccer (Girls), Swimming (Boys)

Sandy Creek – Football, Volleyball

Union Grove – Fast Pitch Softball, Riflery

Walker – Tennis (Boys), Tennis (Girls)

Walton – Volleyball, Tennis (Girls)

Wesleyan – Cross Country (Girls), Basketball (Girls)

Woodward Academy – Golf (Boys), Wrestling (Traditional)

1

Athens Academy – Cross Country (Boys)

Athens Christian – Track and Field (Boys)

Baconton Charter – Tennis (Girls)

Banks County – Wrestling (Duals)

Berkmar – Soccer (Boys)

Brookstone – Golf (Boys)

Carrollton – Golf (Girls)

Cartersville – Baseball

Cedar Grove – Track and Field (Girls)

Centennial – Lacrosse (Boys)

Charlton County – Baseball

Columbia - Basketball (Girls)

Columbus – Tennis (Boys)

Commerce – Track and Field (Boys)

Coosa – Cheerleading

Dade County – Fast Pitch Softball

Darlington - Golf (Girls)

Eagle’s Landing - Basketball (boys)

Emanuel County Institute – Football

Georgia Military College – Cross Country (Boys)

Greater Atlanta Christian – Basketball (Boys)

Greenforest Christian – Basketball (Boys)

Houston County – Cheerleading

Johnson (Savannah) – Basketball (Boys)

Miller Grove – Basketball (Boys)

Mount Paran Christian – Cheerleading

Mount Pisgah Christian – Fast Pitch Softball

North Oconee – Golf (Girls)

Northgate – Soccer (Girls)

Northwest Whitfield – Fast Pitch Softball

Ola – Cheerleading

Our Lady of Mercy – Track and Field (Girls)

Pierce County – Cheerleading

Redan – Baseball

Schley County – Golf (Girls)

Southwest DeKalb – Basketball (Girls)

St. Francis – Basketball (Girls)

Starr’s Mill – Tennis (Boys)

Towns County – Cross Country (Girls)

Trion – Cheerleading

Veterans – Cheerleading

Vidalia – Golf (Girls)

Westlake – Track and Field (Girls)

Whitewater – Volleyball

Wilkinson County – Basketball (Boys)

74 comments Add your comment

acoach

June 5th, 2013
11:31 am

Eagle’s Landing High School won boy’s AAAA basketball, not Eagle’s Landing Christian.

Todd Holcomb

June 5th, 2013
2:47 pm

Thanks, acoach. Fixed.

Ray

June 5th, 2013
2:54 pm

You do realize that Gordon Lee won public school championships in 1A. There was also a private school champion in 1A.

Ray

June 5th, 2013
2:57 pm

Also, Gordon Lee is a city school in Walker County in which about 60-70 percent of the enrollment is not within zone. So, while also being one of (or the) largest school in A, they have many of the same advantages that private schools have.

JBC

June 5th, 2013
5:15 pm

Woodward won wrestling (traditional) and boys’ golf. It should be listed, Todd. Thanks.

Todd Holcomb

June 5th, 2013
8:15 pm

Added Woodward’s titles. I think I lopped them off from my cut & paste, as they were last alphabetically.

Todd Holcomb

June 5th, 2013
8:20 pm

Ray – What I meant was that Gordon Lee had won recent state titles before the public/private split. That’s unlike the other schools that I mentioned (Towns, GMC, Marion).

BHS #1 Fan

June 6th, 2013
4:35 am

I believe AA Private Schools won every championship with the exception of Jefferson winning Football and Wrestling. Softball was only Girls sport not won by AA Private schools. Maybe it’s time for them to create their own class like Class A or combine Class A Private schools with AA.

Paladin Death Dealer

June 6th, 2013
5:58 am

Guess the private schools and city schools just hire better coaches. Since there is no more recruiting in our great state, coaching is the only plausible explanation. Hopefully one day someone will step up and stop this recruiting and level the playing field for everyone again. Until that time, scribe an asterisk beside these state titles and just sit back and accept the fact that recruiting will continue, the rich will get richer, and the poor will never be able to put them an All Star team together.

Roy D. Mercer

June 6th, 2013
6:02 am

Maybe it’s time for people who choose private schools to be exempt from the property tax line item for schools.

NAHS dad

June 6th, 2013
6:11 am

I do find it interesting that more parents from the communities in AA and AAA aren’t clamoring for a split. This kind of state Championship dominance is statistically overwhelming.

The “Atlanta 7″ private schools have roughly 600 students per high school. That is 75 boys and 75 girls in each class. If you consider at most schools that juniors and seniors make up most varsity rosters, that is 150 total boys and 150 total girls to pull from. In the Spring, there are 12 state championships. That requires a very high participation rate and very skilled athletes in your student body.

How a school like Westminster can win 9 spring titles, plus be runner-up in baseball, with only approximately 300 upperclassmen is a head scratcher. A Tennesee study showed at public schools there is only a 32 % student participation rate in sports. So in a AApublic school with 300 upperclassmen, that would leave approximately 96 kids to field 12 teams in the spring. Tough to field that many teams much less have excellent teams.

I also find it interesting that a school like Marist has the same size student body, but is allowed to “play up” into class AAAA. Is the Marist sports program that much more superior to the “Atlanta 7,” or is it an opportunity to provide more State Champioship opportunities for their private school students? That the GHSA allows this clause is a head scratcher to me.

In Tennessee, the THSA doesn’t allow private high schools that provide financial student aid to compete in state championships against public schools. Marist and Westminster provide financial aid to roughly 15-20% students.

Congratulations to the private schools and their student athletes for their noteworthy athletic achievements, but it seems to me that there is a competitive imbalance in the GHSA.

Big Fan

June 6th, 2013
6:58 am

It would really be fascinating to track and chronicle the year round training of the successful programs to the not so successful. I guess it’s just the ability of schools to identify very young students in all sports. That is amazing how they can identify these kids.

NAHS dad

June 6th, 2013
7:20 am

The “Atlanta 7″ private schools + Marist ( 8 metro Atlanta private schools) won 34 State Championships in 2012-2013.

Atlanta Public Schools (APS) 9 public high schools won zero State Championships in 2012-2013.

chris deighan

June 6th, 2013
8:05 am

The public/private thing is a non-issue. What bothers me is the watered down competition inherent in a seven-class system. At most, this state needs three classifications for sports other than football.

GMC’s public boys XC championship is a fraud. Team’s average time would have placed 15th in the private school event. Does that mean the GMC kids can’t and don’t compete? Of course not. But high school sports should be about competition for competition sake. It shouldn’t be about some watered down claim of excellence.

NAHS dad

June 6th, 2013
8:07 am

Here are the enrollments for the top three teams on your state championships earned list, based on the 2011-2012 GHSA reclassification:

Westminster (AA) – 611 students
Marist (AAAA) – 591 students
St. Pius (AAA) – 845 students

These three schools are 10-15 minutes apart in Atlanta, and they combined to earn 24 state championships and numerous other final four teams in 2012-2013.

These same three schools compete in three different GHSA classifications. They don’t compete against one another for GHSA state championships.

Coach

June 6th, 2013
8:12 am

FYI – Those are 10th -12th enrollment numbers, not the entire high school population.

Coach

June 6th, 2013
8:15 am

Also, there isn’t a THSA – it’s the TSSAA. Just helping you out with your facts.

chris deighan

June 6th, 2013
8:17 am

@NAHS Dad — that’s my point exactly. In a three-class format, those teams would likely all be in the same classification and would likely face one another well before a title game.

NAHS dad

June 6th, 2013
8:21 am

Coach, thanks for the clarification.

Todd Holcomb

June 6th, 2013
8:31 am

”GMC’s public boys XC championship is a fraud. Team’s average time would have placed 15th in the private school event. Does that mean the GMC kids can’t and don’t compete? Of course not. But high school sports should be about competition for competition sake. It shouldn’t be about some watered down claim of excellence.”

Should there be classifications at all? How do you measure when the competition has become watered down? Seems to me that if you’ve beaten out 40-75 other schools of your size and shape that you’ve accomplished something.

Todd Holcomb

June 6th, 2013
8:36 am

I wonder what the reaction would be to a Super Eight Conference of Marist, SPX, Woodward, Westminster, GAC, Wesleyan, Blessed Trinity and Lovett. Make that a state championship.

Ironically, winning that state title would be more difficult and perhaps more prestigious than winning AA, AAA, AAAA, etc., because Westminster (AA) would have to deal with Marist (AAAA), and vice-versa.

Big Fan

June 6th, 2013
8:42 am

SPX plays Westminster, Lovett, Woodward, and BT. Woodward and BT are same class AAA.

NAHS dad

June 6th, 2013
8:46 am

Todd, I hadn’t thought of that solution, but I really like it.

Todd Holcomb

June 6th, 2013
10:06 am

”SPX plays Westminster, Lovett, Woodward, and BT. Woodward and BT are same class AAA.”

Not sure what you are trying to say. SPX has a great sports program (getting stronger each season, it seems) and attempts to play a strong schedule in every sport.But SPX plays only Woodward and BT in anything that counts toward a region or state championship. I wonder if SPX would have greater rivalries and more challenging state playoffs in many sports in a Super Eight w/ Marist, Westminster, Lovett, etc.

nourstuff

June 6th, 2013
10:07 am

Here’s another idea that is relatively simple: 1) Classify schools based on enrollment, as currently done. 2) Classify schools based on population density within a 20mi radius (ignore counties, districts, etc.). 3) Sum the “A” levels from 1 & 2 and divide by 2 for the final determination of classification.

For example, Eagles Landing Christian Academy is A for enrollment, AAAAAA for density, so 7/2 =3.5 and GHSA can decide if you round up or down. ELCA would then be either AAA or AAAA, which seems about right. Buford would be AAA + AAAAAA or 4.5 meaning they end up a AAAA or AAAAA class school. This is takes into account the major advantage most private & city schools have, which is access to a larger athlete pool than their enrollment #’s would otherwise suggest.

chris deighan

June 6th, 2013
10:22 am

“Should there be classifications at all? How do you measure when the competition has become watered down? Seems to me that if you’ve beaten out 40-75 other schools of your size and shape that you’ve accomplished something.”

I’d be fine with no classifications for anything but football (because of risk of injury). “Accomplishing something” doesn’t have to mean a state championship. It’s all relative. In a one-class system, that region (sectional, super-sectional, etc) hardware would look really, really good in a school trophy case.

And I haven’t even mentioned the travel, time-out-of school issues a one-class system would save. Leave the GHSA out of realignment decisions entirely (again, except for football) and let schools form conferences based on geography.

Double Standard

June 6th, 2013
10:34 am

I think anytime you abide by the established (fair) rules and win a state championship it is something to be recognized , celebrated and enjoyed. Some of these athletes will earn scholarships to college and be able to further their educations with out the financial stress. Others on a state championship team learn a lot of lessons about hard work and commitment to excellence which benefits them down the line. Georgia ( 159) has the second highest number of counties in the nation behind Texas ( 254). More counties = more teams = more classifications. Factor in the history of race/poverty problems in the deep south and it creates a breeding ground for Private Schools to thrive. It is what it is.

Black123456789

June 6th, 2013
11:23 am

Get rid of split and GHSA need to tighten up on rules! There are a lot of transfers being eligible their senior year and they are not moving into their new school district! Just monitor moves better and let the best team win!

Paladin Death Dealer

June 6th, 2013
5:34 pm

Too many moves to monitor. GHSA would need 30-40 people to monitor appropriately (not just a one time check) to see if someone really made a bobafide move or whether they are blatantly cheating by claiming to live somewhere within their new school district, but are continuing to live in their residence in their old school district. Cut out the ALL STAR TEAMS, or if their must be ALL STAR TEAMS, let them play each other. Then recruit all you want.

WarEagle

June 6th, 2013
10:33 pm

NAHS Dad — so now we are complaining that Marist plays up two classes?! Seriously? Usually we hear complaints that the multiplier needs to come back. Other than the so-called “country club” sports, Marist has it far tougher in 4A than it would have it in 2A in sports such as football, basketball, baseball, soccer, wrestling, softball . . .. As for participation, Marist has about 85-90% of its students participating in extra-curriculars. Need that commitment to compete with 4A size schools. As for the recruiting charges against private schools — please don’t pretend the public schools are pure own that issue (heard of Milton basketball?). How many kids in DeKalb change schools annually for sports — Tucker’s running back used to play for Dunwoody, and Stephenson’s running back used to play for Tucker!

Todd — your proposal only makes sense if the goal is to limit the number of titles these private schools have a chance to earn. Why is it just or fair to punish Marist students because they have success. Our kids enjoy competing against their friends and neighbors in public schools, and enjoy the challenge of competing against larger schools.

Come On

June 6th, 2013
10:39 pm

I have a proposal: if a school wins more than 2 championships in a year or wins in the same sport twice in a row, put them in a new class. It just is not fair to the other schools. Keep doing this until every school has a chance to win a title. It is just not right that every kid is not awarded a championship ring over the course of their high school career. Also, GHSA should provide orange slices, cookies, and fruit juice after every sporting event. That would be so much better.

Come On

June 6th, 2013
10:45 pm

All the private schools, except St. Pius and Blessed Trinity, admit most of their students before high school. Many of the kids at Westminster, Lovett, GAC, and Wesleyan are admitted in kindergarten or 1st grade. Congrats to these schools for their ability to recruit the finest athletes in Atlanta before they reach puberty! Sounds silly, doesn’t it.

On Second Thought

June 6th, 2013
10:52 pm

Private schools that provide financial aid based on need should be commended for giving those in need a chance to benefit from the resources of their schools. None of these private schools are allowed to or do give aid based on athletic skill alone — to do so would make the students ineligible for NCAA competition. Do we really want to punish schools if they give aid, risking that some might stop? Why would that be good for the student-athletes who are getting great educations and opportunities at these schools?

NAHS dad

June 7th, 2013
7:22 am

War Eagle, it just seems to me that Marist is electively playing “out” rather than “up”. I am pretty sure that Marist would receive more realistic competition across most all sports playing against BT, SPX, Westminster, Lovett, Woodward, GAC, et al.

Chamblee is near by yes, but the following regional schools are not your public school neighbors: Columbia,Lithinia, Redan, stone Mountain, Banneker, carver, Grady, s. Atlanta, therell, Washington. redan has a great baseball program. Washington and Grady are strong on football, but many of your sports teams win in a walkover in Regional competition and get to experience a state championship.

Many of your students probably live in the Dunwoody or North Atlanta clusters (AAAAA). I would guess those are more probably Marists’ public school neighbors. I think it is great for the community to compete against those schools and the schools currently in your region…in the regular season. I think the GHSA State Championship should be treated differently though.

Da Coach

June 7th, 2013
7:33 am

^ I think football has a lot to do with why Marist continually plays up, more so than winning “country club sports” consistently. Besides that, if AAAA was so easy, why don’t those other schools move up?

VICC

June 7th, 2013
7:35 am

The schools with the most success have the schools with the most parental support. While some of that support may be money you still have to have athletes. Are those kids THE BEST athletes? Probably not but they work very hard throughout the year. These schools that have less than 900 students also have a very high rate of participation from their student body and they participate in more than one sport. Look at the schedules of the Private schools and you will find that many of them participate against the much higher classifications which better prepares them for their own regions. Why does Jefferson win State wrestling titles year in and year out? They have a successful program that kids want to be in…the private schools do a better job overall of making each of their sports important not just one or two like many of the public schools.

WarEagle

June 7th, 2013
7:42 am

You are focusing on one year, and I agree Marist’s region this year is a little softer than the past. But prior to this year, our region included Dunwoody, Tucker, SWD, Chamblee … Most of them were moved up to 5A, not down. Marist stayed where it has been for years (4A), deciding that playing up three classes is just too demanding across all sports for a small school, and our state-wide competition remains very robust — and I’ll note that our region-mate Redan beat us in the baseball final. I understand the frustration based in the results in 2A and 3A, but respectfully it is just one season so let’s see if Westminster continues to dominate before we do anything drastic. In the meantime, I suggest that Marist’s results are not out of line with our historical performances over the last decade or two, and thus it is hard to argue something has changed as to our school.

DeKalb Guy

June 7th, 2013
8:16 am

I agree that the private schools should have to play up 1 class. Let’s see them win against the larger schools. I think the issue is mainly about better resources, in and out of school. While the privates probably recruit, unfortunately so do the publics — and the publics don’t have to worry about kids satisfying high academic requirements like many of the privates. Frankly, I am sick of seeing kids in DeKalb switch schools every darn season.

Todd Holcomb

June 7th, 2013
10:05 am

”your proposal only makes sense if the goal is to limit the number of titles these private schools have a chance to earn. Why is it just or fair to punish Marist students because they have success. Our kids enjoy competing against their friends and neighbors in public schools, and enjoy the challenge of competing against larger schools.”

War Eagle – I wouldn’t consider a Super 8 Conference to be punishment. I would consider it an attempt to classify schools based on competitive similarity. The GHSA already does that by classifying based on enrollment. Why not also also classify based on the advantages inherent of public vs. private? Marist is much more similar to St. Pius, Westminster and Lovett in terms of the challenges and opportunities of building successful sports teams.

Also, I don’t ever want to discount the accomplishments of these private schools in sports, especially at Marist, a school that chooses to play against larger schools. I’d put them up against any in the South. As a fan of Georgia high school sports, I’m proud of Westminster and Marist and the rest. Where I think the disparity lies is in the ability of private schools to choose their students among a larger body of applicants. If 1,500 students want to attend Marist, and Marist can select 800 of those, this is a big advantage. What if Tucker (or any AAAAA school) could choose the 800 students that it wanted out of the 1,500 that actually go there? Those 800 would be the brightest and the best of the larger pool, and their parents would tend to be the most supportive and resourceful. All that would be reflected in academics and athletics.

NAHS dad

June 7th, 2013
11:40 am

Todd, I like your phrase “competitive similarity.” I will give you a public/private example:

In 2010-11, North Atlanta had 1/24 teams clear Regionals and qualify for state competition (boys soccer, lost 1st round). St. Pius had 23/24 teams clear Regionals that year. North Atlanta was unlucky to be in a Regional with Woodward and St. Pius – our students just weren’t going to get a chance to experience state competition.

Fast forward to 2012-2013, NA is now in AAAAA (no private schools in AAAAA) and 7/24 teams qualify (estimate) and individuals in 5 more sports. Great excitement. Is NA a new sports powerhouse? No. If our kids train hard, and are coached up, now they at least have a shot to experience state competition.

Frank Deford said in his Sports Illustrated piece that, “high school sports have replaced ‘the western’ as the male American lyric. It is very competitive applying to colleges, and sports is certain differentiator. Try getting into Duke, Stanford, Dartmouth if your kid is merely a brilliant student and standardized test taker. I don’t necessarily agree with the disproportionate importance of high school sports, but it is reality.

Just one persons experience here, but I think competitive similarity in GHSA competitions is a great idea. Again, competing (and most probably losing) to private schools in regular season contests is fine, but a better reclassification would benefit more kids in the long run without diminishing the competition level for the private schools.

pioneer

June 7th, 2013
3:10 pm

Live with it. The obvious problem, if private schools winning trophies is a problem, is TOO MANY CLASSES!! But the genie is out of the bottle and it is only going to get worse…or better, depending on your point of view. If you want 6,7,8, whatever number of “state champions,” an increasing number will be private as the public schools, particularly in the Deep South, become a part of the welfare state. Could be worse…Kentucky has the only true state champ – basketball, one class – yet has 6 classes for football, the top one simply called the Trinity trophy for obvious reasons.

Private and Proud

June 7th, 2013
10:16 pm

All public schools kids are on scholarship and in some cases even get fed two meals a day. I even help pay for them and my kids didn’t go to the government school but no one helped me pay my private school tuition
. Geez NAHS Dad I guess N Carolina State should stop playing Duke in basketball that public vs private thing. Was Notre Dame the private school football champ last year?
Go to any Dekalb middle school game and watch the recruiting that goes on. No matter where you live in Dekalb you don’t have to stay in your attendance zone.
Get your head out of the sand! Players move along the dekalb gwinnett county lines by using a false address. Players move from one school to the other all the time without having to sit out take a look at MLK Stephenson Tucker wonder why they win so much every year? Years ago in dekalb the M to M was a godsend for Lakeside did the private schools complain.? You see Dekalb has football powers, basketball powers just how does that happen? hmm I wonder.
Our kids can’t play with D’s on the old report card, criminal offenses, cutting class,or even walking around with their shirt tail out. These things happen and they aren’t in the school any longer no matter how much money mommy and daddy have. So why don’t you level the playing field here? go by the standards the private schools do ! How many publc schools kids play with D’s on their report card?
There is way more recruiting in the public sector and way more transfers public to public and public from private than the other way around. Take War Eagle’s school and Puis they run the same offense from 6th grade to 12th. OPTION ! They are seldom the biggest team and never the fastest team (sorry war eagle and Puis) so NAHS Dad what you are saying is you want them to have the same undisciplined nature the public school teams do? They run the option because they know the other team unless way more physically more superior can’t stop them enough to beat them because they are not disciplined enough.
Take the big debate in the Gwinnett schools was kids playng 8th grade football for two years because they flunked. Should they be allowed to play? You have to let them or be sued. Academic red shirting I guess is now what you call it. Geez you think that happens in private schools?
Bottom line here is TODD instead of lowering expectations for the public schools why not try to raise them up? Start with NAHS Dad raise up your kids at your school give them what they need discipline ! Woodward, Pius, Decatur a city school,and BT all play in the same region now where is the problem? Westminster and Lovett play in the same region in AA so think about this GHSA lets 4 teams in the playoffs for money reasons maybe you should be upset with them. Thats how the private schools make it in the big sports. City school have the same if not more benefits then private schools costs less to go there and more student space so maybe group them in a region also.
I am all for playing up 1 class it won’t make much of a difference the private schools will win the country club sports and FB,BB,Baseball will all make and go deep in the playoffs.
Like Clubber Lang said” Rocky you are a paper champion” and that’s what you will get when you group all the private into one group. Class A is the shining example.

Todd Holcomb

June 8th, 2013
8:54 am

P&P –

Duke-UNC and North Atlanta-St. Pius are not comparable. Every state in the country debates the issue of public-private in high school sports. Nobody complains about a public-private issue in college sports. Hopefully you can understand why that is.

”There is way more recruiting in the public sector and way more transfers public to public and public from private than the other way around.”

I never made an accusation that private schools recruit. Recruiting is not relevant in the public-private debate, IMO. Alleged recruiting is not an advantage for either side.

”instead of lowering expectations for the public schools why not try to raise them up? … Like Clubber Lang said” Rocky you are a paper champion” and that’s what you will get when you group all the private into one group. Class A is the shining example.”

Why not raise standards for private schools? If you really believe in raising expectations, shouldn’t Westminster – which won 11 state titles – move up to AAA or AAAA to challenge itself? Is Marist’s girls tennis team a paper champion for having swept five straight playoff opponents 3-0 and beating LaGrange in the championship match? Wouldn’t a real lion want to face Westminster and Blessed Trinity and find out who is the best private school team in the state?

Player483

June 8th, 2013
10:10 am

“As a fan of Georgia high school sports, I’m proud of Westminster and Marist and the rest. Where I think the disparity lies is in the ability of private schools to choose their students among a larger body of applicants. If 1,500 students want to attend Marist, and Marist can select 800 of those, this is a big advantage. What if Tucker (or any AAAAA school) could choose the 800 students that it wanted out of the 1,500 that actually go there? Those 800 would be the brightest and the best of the larger pool, and their parents would tend to be the most supportive and resourceful.”

Todd, I find it amusing that you make the comparison between Tucker and Marist – especially since Tucker seemed to have Marist’ “number” in football for several years. The assumption that the selective process of a school like Marist gives them an athletic advantage is not necessarily correct. I could point to multiple examples of children that went on to incredible college and professional careers in football but were not accepted into Marist. Chadwick could only dream of having some of those children. By the way, last year’s imposing starting linebacker crew of a 6’ 165, 5’11” 175 and 5’11 195 struck fear into the eyes of most of their opponents.

The demanding nature of a school like Marist goes well beyond the athletic fields. Seeing a child running to the baseball field to make a state baseball playoff game after he completed an AP exam is much more the expectation rather than the exception. My point is this – successful independent schools select their students based upon the school’s mission while the public school system serves the greater public – the advantage will always be with the successful independent school – that is one of the major reasons for their existence. The athletic success of these schools can almost be viewed as a by-product of what the school is trying to accomplish (I am sure that if you asked Westminster’s administration about their goals for their students, athletics would not be at the top). Just as important, the SIS can also keep out the apathetic student who does not focus on academics, the parent that views his/her child’s school as daycare or any other student that does not align with the SIS’s mission. These negative factors are often overlooked when people are discussing the reasons for an independent school’s success but they are just as important. As we are all aware, any time that you get everyone on board with common goals and work ethic, your chances of success are much greater. The successful public schools accomplish this in a much greater fashion than most public schools. These schools have a strong community behind them (Walton, Milton, Parkview, Brookwood etc.) So, instead of complaining about the athletic success of independent schools, we should all spend more effort on improving those public schools that need it.

What is a fair athletic system when you have public and independent schools competing against each other? Solely based on geography, would it be fair to restrict a child from trying to better himself by attending a more intense academic school rather than his public school option? Would it be fair to have independent schools compete against public schools that are 2 or 3 times larger? By their inherent nature, it will never be fair so everyone should get over it. Stop trying to bring a school that does it right in so many ways down to the level of a school that is lacking in performance – spend your time improving the schools like North Atlanta NAHS Dad.
I wish I had all of the answers but one thing I do know is that almost every Marist fan is sorry that we are not competing against our neighbors in Tucker – as I am sure that almost every Tucker fan feels the same. Those football games were some of the best. I would hate to see us unable to play each other in the future because some silly governing body (GHSA) conformed to the complaints of a group of parents that argued that it was unfair for public schools to compete against independent schools (Fans of Marist and Tucker alike, know how silly that would be). It would be a shame.

Player483

June 8th, 2013
10:21 am

“Why not raise standards for private schools? If you really believe in raising expectations, shouldn’t Westminster – which won 11 state titles – move up to AAA or AAAA to challenge itself? Is Marist’s girls tennis team a paper champion for having swept five straight playoff opponents 3-0 and beating LaGrange in the championship match? Wouldn’t a real lion want to face Westminster and Blessed Trinity and find out who is the best private school team in the state?”

Wow, Todd – really. Raising the standards of the private schools is really not the issue is it, Todd.

DeKalb Guy

June 8th, 2013
12:53 pm

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DeKalb Guy

June 8th, 2013
12:55 pm

Maybe the answer is to open enrollment for public schools — let them really start competing for students by raising their standards in all areas. In other words, let’s build a public school system that gives all of our kids the benefits of competition to excel in academics, sports, arts, etc — let’s try to be like the private schools.

Todd Holcomb

June 8th, 2013
1:38 pm

… almost every Marist fan is sorry that we are not competing against our neighbors in Tucker – as I am sure that almost every Tucker fan feels the same. Those football games were some of the best. I would hate to see us unable to play each other in the future because some silly governing body (GHSA) conformed to the complaints of a group of parents that argued that it was unfair for public schools to compete against independent schools (Fans of Marist and Tucker alike, know how silly that would be). It would be a shame.”

Player – Nobody has suggested that public and private schools can’t compete against each other. If Marist wants to play Tucker, Marist can choose to play AAAAA, or schedule Tucker in a regular-season non-region game. What we’re talking about is having them compete for different state c’ships. How is that different than the GHSA putting Thomasville and Thomas County Central in different classes? It doesn’t mean they can’t compete against each other. They’re just chasing different state c’ships.

Just a Fan

June 8th, 2013
2:34 pm

The list published last year detailing the athletic transfers for one year kind of says it all-some schools could actually recruit and still not get the 30+ transfers some of the schools got(most were schools with winning programs). I think Marietta was the dubious winner in this category with around 50 athletic transfers. Face it-its not community based sports in most instances anymore-maybe some of the small counties still have to play with the kids who grew up there but few others. One thing often overlooked when complaining about the superiority of private schools is that generally the students are smarter,better disiplined and more goal oriented .

Jefferson

June 8th, 2013
8:39 pm

Population density for private and city schools is the key along with a good coach, and of course what makes it all happen, money support from the community.