The Westover Patriots will not be moving to the 5A classification after Westover Principal William Chunn went before the executive council of the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Tuesday in Thomaston., Ga. The GHSA released new classifications last week and included a 2.0 multiplier which counted out of district students two times. That multiplier moved the Patriots out of Class 4A into the higher classification. Chunn had expressed his displeasure immediately because most of the out of zone students Westover has come to the school because of a magnet program.
However, when Chunn went before the 16-member executive committee for the appeal, he used a different approach. The principal told the committee that if Westover remained as a 5A school they would be the only 5A school in Southwest Georgia with the travel time being over 100 miles one way for a region competition. Principal Chunn argued that the travel was too extensive and would take away from the students’ academics by constantly having to leave school early and arriving back in the wee hours of the morning. He also said it would be worse for the winter and spring sports having to participate 2 — 3 times per week. Principal Chunn stated that the students are students first and athletes second and nothing should hinder their academics.
After his appeal to the board, the executive board unanimously agreed with Chunn with a 16 — 0 vote. Principal Chunn said he was very grateful to Dr. Robin Hines and his executive committee for thoroughly listening to Westover’s appeal and ruling in their favor.
The decision means that is very likely that all three Albany public high schools will be competing in the same athletic region competitions. The new classifications moved Monroe up to 4A from AAA and Dougherty was already in 4A since Albany High School closed.