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Region 1-AAA just got tougher

By Joe Joe Wright

The Dougherty County School board on Monday voted and closed Albany High effective immediately. This will have a profound effect on Region 1-AAA in football in 2017. How so one might ask? Good question. The Albany High Indians have about 60 players in football. Most likely 10-13 are seniors and at least 3 of the underclassmen are a higher caliber athletes. The school board will divide up the football team among Westover, Dougherty and Monroe High. The seniors will be given an option to go were they want to attend, however

I heard that if you are an athlete you don’t get to choose. Either way suddenly Monroe High who was the 3rd or 4th best team in the region swells in talent to #2 behind the Cougars and even puts up a challenge to Crisp County when we visit them on October 13th. I am certain the Cougars will be able to handle Monroe, because our talent pool is very rich. The other three teams in the region are however, in for a shakeup. It really just depends on how many of the players Monroe gets from Albany. I can see recruiting violations in the near future.

One might think that this is insignificant, but I can assure you that 5 or 6 high quality players injected into a program the size of Monroe’s will make them much better. I have often said, if I could go to Vienna and steal 2 or 3 of them Bobcats and over to Wilcox and get a couple of them. I would travel down to Moultrie and it won’t be a 40-3 thrashing I can assure you it will be close. Numbers matter in all sports and in all classifications. Wow! I don’t even want to think about basketball they are seriously about to stack the deck over there. With Crisp graduating 11 or so seniors the Albany area schools are about to take off. Now in other sports like baseball and softball you could take all four high schools in Dougherty County and pick an all-star team from among them and they still wouldn’t be much more competitive. They will dominate in track and field but cheerleading, tennis and golf will be as ridiculous as it is now. On the flip side I do wonder if the influx of kids into the schools will change any of the Albany schools by putting them into higher classifications.

As it stands now Albany High was in AA. Westover is in AAAA and Monroe and Dougherty were in our region in AAA. I am betting at least one is going up in the next round of classifications. I do know this reclassification takes place next in the summer of 2020. So in the meantime several Albany schools are going to get their ranks swelled with new kids. The layout of the Albany school districts suggests that Westover will be the least affected by the school closure. Our foes in the region Dougherty and Monroe will however be a little behind at the start of the season as they assimilate the new players, but look for them to be much improved in 2017.