Lee County head coach Brandon Brock wasn't in the most joking of moods Monday, but he was able to make a crack at practice this afternoon.
"It's really hard to reach the state finals," he laughed. No one knows that like his team these days.
On a day when Lee County expected to begin preparations for this week's state championship, the Trojans will have to earn their spot one more time.
On Monday, the GHSA Board of Trustees voted 5-2 in favor of a Johns Creek appeal about the controversial call at the end of Game 2 between the Gladiators and Lee County. The Trojans went on to win that game in extra innings, but only after the Gladiators' game-winning run was wiped off the board.
That means the teams will play a third and final game this Wednesday for a spot in this weekend's state championship series in Rome.
"Listening to all the testimony today, I just really felt like a third game ought to be played. This was not an easy decision for me, but I felt it was in the best interest of all students involved," GHSA Executive Committee president Dr. Glenn White told WALB Sports. "Sometimes as adults, we have to stand up when we feel something is not right, and give the kids a chance to make it right."
White told WALB that he was concerned by arguments concerning if anyone saw the runner touch third base, when the umpires actually signalled the game over, and when the appeal to the umpires was presented.
It's a decision that stunned many in the Peach State, most of all Brock.
"It's surprising because it's going against a rule that's been around a lot longer than the rest of us," Brock says. "It basically came down to going against an umpire judgment. That's kind of a scary thing. It's now the precedent that's been set. I don't know where it's going to go from here, but we're getting ready for Game 3 either way."
Brock says his team was shocked by the result of Monday's hearing, but he doesn't believe it will faze them. The team has been practicing all week, staying sharp for what they expected to be the state title series.
"It's really not much different. I just hope they haven't lost faith in what's right," Brock says. "We've had a conversation already about what we have to do. We can't play out of spite or anything like that. We've just got to play the game, and I'm sure they're telling their guys the same thing."
The Trojans will host Johns Creek Wednesday at 5:30. The winner will play Pope in the Class 6A state championship series Friday in Rome.
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