- By Chip Saye For the AJC
Four of this weekend’s eight GHSA football championship games, the first to be played in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, have been postponed because of the winter weather that moved through north Georgia beginning Friday morning.
The first two games of the championships, in Class A (private) and AAA, were played Friday as scheduled, but the Class AAAAA final between Warner Robins and Rome, set to begin at 4:30 p.m., was postponed, as was the Class AAAAAA final between Coffee and Lee County, which was scheduled for 8 p.m.
Also postponed were Saturday’s 10 a.m. game between Clinch County and Irwin County for the Class A public-school championship and the 1 p.m. game between Hapeville Charter and Rabun County in Class AA.
“The developments with the weather are getting worse,” GHSA executive director Dr. Robin Hines said at halftime of Friday’s second game. “There is more snow that is going to be coming in after 6 o’clock, and safety has to be our number one priority. The decision has been made after consulting with the Falcons staff, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the weather service and our staff, that we are going to postpone the next two games today because we are concerned about people coming in.”
As of Friday afternoon, the other two games on Saturday are expected to be played, based on the forecast of improving conditions in the afternoon. Class AAAA Marist and Blessed Trinity are scheduled to play at 4:30 p.m., followed by North Gwinnett against Colquitt County in the Class AAAAAAA final.
All four of the postponed games will be played next weekend at school sites. Those sites will be determined by teams’ seeding or, in the case of opponents having the same seed, a coin flip. Lee County and Irwin County will host in their classifications based on being the higher seed, while the AAAAA and AA locations will be decided by the coin flip.
In Friday’s games that were completed, Eagle’s Landing Christian won its third consecutive Class A private-school championship with a 41-3 victory over Athens Academy, and Calhoun won its third title in seven seasons with a 10-6 victory over Peach County.