Area coaches wary of "Super 32" - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Area coaches wary of "Super 32"

October 8, 2002

Colquitt County head football coach and athletic director Mike Singletary summed up his reaction to the new reclassification proposal from the Georgia High School Association very simply when he said he would be positive about it until heard why he should feel negative.

The GHSA executive committee approved new reclassification proposal that would reduce the number of classifications from five to four. Classes A-AAA would each have 88 schools but AAAA would have 117 members.

When it came time for state tournament play in virtually all sports, the 32 biggest schools in AAAA would have their own playoff while the remaining 85 schools would compete for the AAAA title.

Of the 32 biggest high school enrollments in the state, all are in the Atlanta area except for Colquitt County, Lowndes and Camden County.

Singletary says he several concerns about the setup of the Super 32 format including contending for region titles and travel.

Normally schools from North and South Georgia don't face each other in state playoffs until the semifinals and finals.

But under this plan, such matchups could happen in the first round and would continue as long as Colquitt County and/or Lowndes advanced in the playoffs.

That would possibly mean longer bus rides and time away from the classroom.

One coach who wants to be in the "Super 32" and is not is Valdosta's Mike O'Brien.

The Wildcats have won 23 state titles and want number 24 to come against the best competition Georgia has to offer.

In years past, Georgia High School Association allowed schools with smaller enrollments to play at higher classifications if they desired.

O'Brien says he has been told no school will be placed in the top 32 if their enrollment doesn't qualify them.

The Valdosta High coach disagrees with those 32 schools getting automatic berths to the state playoffs in all major sports. O'Brien says bigger enrollment doesn't guarantee a championship quality team and he believes that inferior teams would be qualifying for the state tournament.

The new "Super 32" format is not the law yet as the GHSA executive committee has to vote on it a second time this March.

If it is approved in the spring, the "Super 32" would start in the 2004-2005 school year.