Georgia Parents Call for Change to High School Athletics

Coaches in our area say although less travel time means more time for schoolwork, they feel students would be getting a raw deal.

Football players at Thomas County Central High work hard for their stellar athletic record, and they are willing to travel long distances to prove their abilities.

"Most of our games during the football season are like, Thomson. I don't think that's quite 100 miles but it's pretty far away," says Moses Cochran, an athlete at Thomas County high.

Sometimes there's not as good of competition close as there is far away. Sometimes it's fun to travel different places around the state," adds senior Dean McDermond.

But some Georgia parents say long trips are detrimental to a student's classroom performance. They're pushing state legislators to allow schools to change their sports regions if they are regularly required to make trips of more than 100 miles.

"Gosh, 100 miles, that might not be a problem in north Georgia, but in south Georgia, 100 mile trips are an every week occurrence. We're used to those things!” says Ed Pilcher, the athletic director and head football coach.

Coaches here say taking away their team's travel time would be the same as throwing away their athletic careers. Students say coaches work with them to avoid this.

Coaches at Central say as hard as they push for championship titles. They'll continue to stress the importance of academic achievement while they travel wherever the competition may take them.

All Thomas County Central, football and basketball players are required to attend study halls before practice. Coaches say if their grades slip they aren't allowed to play.