ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The GHSA has announced changes to the state track finals, but Albany's Hugh Mills Stadium will continue to be a host.
The track will host the boys' and girls' finals for Classes A-Public, 2A, and 3A on May 11-13, 2017.
DCSS Athletic Director Johnny Seabrooks says with an eighth class added this year, hosting the girls' meet for all classes would have been impossible.
"There's no way we could continue to do it without using additional facilities," he says. Seabrooks notes many of the personnel used at the meet are DCSS coaches and teachers, as well as some students. He says asking them to miss more class to host an extended meet would not have been fair.
Seabrooks says he had conversations with the GHSA about the changes in May and June, and says he still has some questions about the meet schedule. But overall, he is pleased with the changes.
"It's favorable for us," he says."Three of the four DCSS schools (Albany, Monroe, and Dougherty) will still compete here."
He says losing Westover will not be easy, but he's excited to see several of the top local programs, including recent state champs Monroe (2016 girls) and Terrell County (2015 boys) compete close to home.
Memorial Stadium in Jefferson will remain as a host for A-Private, 4A, and 7A. Carrollton's Grisham Stadium is a new host for Classes 5A and 6A. This will be the first time boys' and girls' championships will be held at the same venues.
"Jefferson and Albany have set an extraordinarily high bar as long-time hosts for the State Track and Field Championships and will no doubt continue that tradition," GHSA assistant executive director Jay Russell said in a statement. "The addition as a third venue of Carrollton, which already hosts the GHSA cross-country championships, will allow the best-possible experience for all involved schools, student-athletes, and fans."