November 1, 2004
Donalsonville-- The practice field at Seminole County high school sat empty this afternoon, but when the day started head coach Alan Ingram was fully prepared to get the Indians ready for their first round playoff opponent, McIntosh County Academy. After a phone call to the GHSA this morning however, Ingram learned that the Indians hadn't made the postseason after all.
"All of our kids came to school today expecting to practice this afternoon and like I said it was a shock to them and to us," Ingram said. Miller County, Atkinson County and Seminole County all finished the regular season with identical 3 and 3 region records.
Since seeding for the third and fourth playoff spots could not be determined by head to head competition, they went to a tie breaker--winning percentage against all single-A's team.
"Miller County (.571) definitely had a higher percentage of wins than we (.333) did and than Atkinson (.429) did. So that locked them (Miller County) into the third spot and Atko and us were tied for the fourth spot. In head to head competition we beat Atko, so we felt like we should have been the number four team," Ingram explained.
And so did the rest of the region. But that's not how the tie-breaking procedure is supposed to be interpreted. The GHSA says the winning percentage should be used for all three teams involved in the tie. Since Atkinson went 3 and 4 against single-A teams, and Seminole went 3 and 6, Atkinson got the fourth seed. "Atkinson, when I called coach (Lloyd)McDonald this morning he was really shocked," Ingram added.
A confusing mess that Ingram hopes gets clarified in the off-season. "All of us in the region, we talked about it today and I think when the season is over we'll petition Georgia High School Association to go back and reconsider that (tie-breaking procedure)," Ingram said. And if it ever happens again maybe the Indians won't be left in the dark.
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