NEWTON, Ga. (WALB) - Those sacred Friday night lights will be on this fall for the Baker County Bears. For the first time in school history, Baker is bringing football to Newton.
High school principal Boyd Williamson said, “Yeah, it’s going to be the buzz around town.”
8-man football is coming to Baker County High School this fall. For the first time in program history, the Bears will rep their own team.
In the 80s and 90s, they were a part of the Mitchell-Baker program.
Williamson continued, “We want them to have the full experience and enjoy athletics as well, so we’re starting football.”
Williamson told me this project has been in the works for years. Baker does not have a rec department to feed into their high school football program, so Williamson tells me they found another way to get their future stars familiar with the game.
“Mitchell County Schools has been gracious enough to allow our eighth graders, our middle school students to be a part of the Mitchell Middle School team,” said Williamson.
Athletic Director Jeff Henderson sees immediate impact for its existing programs.
“It’ll help build the other programs. It’ll bring in revenue to help those sports that don’t have the ability to bring in that much revenue or sell tickets. Herewith football we’ll have the chance to help support those other programs,” said Henderson.
Getting fans into the stands on Friday nights could also benefit the local economy.
“They’ll see the traffic they’ve never seen before because they’ll have people coming to the ball games. And our kids will have a sense of pride that they’ve never had before,” said Williamson.
Henderson added, “To get more people involved in our school that might be in our community that not be involved, gives them a chance to be involved.”
Now, it’s all about logistics and the Bears are already getting to work. The lines have been painted, the scoreboard is up but they need still need their coaches and equipment.
Williamson told me that’ll happen in the coming weeks!
We’ll learn more about the developments of their football program and its staffing next month.