MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - A Macon private school will leave the GISA to join FPD in the GHSA.
The Mount de Sales Board of Trustees voted Thursday night to move the school back into the Georgia High School Association--a move that's been coming for years.
"We felt like it was time for a change," says Robert Slocum, the school's athletic director and head football coach. "We've been studying this for six years or longer and you get the opportunity every two years with the re-classification cycle that the GHSA uses, and we had the list of pros and cons. Of course, travel entered the equation, (as did) competition, just a lot of things that made it time for Mount de Sales to make the change."
The dwindling GISA has made it tough for teams to find competition nearby.
"For instance, this year, we're going to South Carolina to play in a tournament there," says Iain Jones, the school's boys soccer coach. "We're playing another team out of South Carolina, in Greenville. We have the potential of six games on our schedule out of state, where in-state, we couldn't get teams to play us."
"With today's economy, you know, everybody's looking to save with the price of fuel and the time the kids miss out of class--all that can be reduced," says Slocum.
A move to the GHSA will also amp up exposure for athletes who might not get the same opportunity in the GISA.
"In the GISA, unless it's a Stratford/Mount de Sales matchup, college coaches aren't going to come," says Jones. "Which, in the end, hurts our student athletes, who are more than capable of playing at the next level. They just need that exposure, so certainly for our student athletes I think it's going to be a very good move for us."
The deadline for private schools to apply to join the GHSA is April 1st, so Stratford and Tattnall still have time to think about whether or not they'll leave the GISA.
Mount de Sales will officially start play in the GHSA in the fall of 2014.