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LC athletic teams moving to Region 5AA

By Walter Geiger Lamar County was shifted west to Region 5AA at the Georgia High School Association reclassification session Dec. 1. LC athletic teams will face those from Callaway, Heard County, Jordan, Spencer and Temple high schools beginning in 2016. The change means increased travel times for local athletes but there was one bit of positive news coming out the meeting. All private schools were removed from Class AA except for powerhouse Benedictine with whom the football Trojans are well acquainted. School superintendent Jute Wilson said he and his administrators are still reviewing the regions. They have a right to appeal the move. ’GHSA has a tough task with reclassification. Nobody ever likes their region. Everyone wants a competitive advantage,’ Dr. Wilson said. He described the GHSA reclassification method which involves placing pins for each school in large state maps. Then they pull eight large rubber bands around the pins to set the eight geographical regions in each classification. Lamar’s closest region opponent will now be over an hour away. ’Our two main concerns are the level of competition and travel time/mileage. We want to be competitive in all sports with a limited amount of travel. We work to protect instructional time for our student athletes. A 100-mile road trip for an evening contest is tough on our students, parents, coaches and fans,’ Dr. Wilson added. Such trips mean leaving early, missing classes and arriving home late at night for competitors. ’Everyone always thinks of football but we field 20 varsity teams that must compete in this region. That is a lot of travel for a lot of people, especially in the spring,’ Dr. Wilson said. Callaway will be the closest opponent in the new region at 54 miles away. Temple, in north Carroll County, is the farthest at 100 miles distant. Thinking, as Dr. Wilson said, of football, Lamar’s region will be somewhat tougher based on last year’s results. Callaway of Hogansville began playing football in 1996. They are 137-87-1 overall and went 10-2 last season, their 10th consecutive season of reaching postseason play. Heard County in Franklin began varsity play in 1972. They are 234-231-3 overall and went 8-4 last season. They have made the playoffs 11 seasons in a row. Jordan of Columbus has the second longest football history in the new grouping, having played football since 1937. They were 3-7 last year and have a program record of 249-500-25. They are not a perennial playoff team. Spencer, also of Columbus, has played football since 1931. They were 9-4 last season and are 272-409-18 overall. They made the playoffs in 2015 for the first time in a long time. Temple High in Temple began playing football in 1989. They were 3-7 last year and have an all-time record of 80-196-0. The Tigers’ last postseason appearance was in 2011. Lamar, by comparison, went 7-4 in 2015. LC’s overall record is 234-251-6. The Trojans have made the playoffs for seven straight seasons and have played football since 1970. Interestingly, Pike County moved down to Class AAA from AAAA. The Pirates, however, are putting an end to the Battle of Potato Creek by not agreeing to play Lamar in a regular season game in 2016. They are willing to scrimmage the Trojans, Dr. Wilson reported. Editor’s note: Historic team football results came from the Georgia High School Football Historians website at

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