THOMASVILLE — Thomasville and Thomas County Central will stay in the proposed regions they were assigned by the Georgia High School Association (GHSA).

Despite numerous appeals by both schools, including on Monday to the GHSA State Executive Committee, Thomasville will move up to Region 1-AAA, while Central will move up to Region 1-AAAAAA for the 2022-24 school years. Thomasville's appeal was rejected by a vote of 64-2. Central's appeal was rejected by a vote of 65-1.

“It is what it is. We fought it as much as we can,” Thomasville athletic director Jeremy Rayburn. “We'll ride with it and see what happens.”

Region 1-AAA will consist of Carver-Columbus, Columbus, Crisp County, Dougherty, Monroe and Thomasville. The travel component, especially from Thomasville to Columbus, was a central point of Thomasville's argument.

“We are not a (school) system that has a lot of buses, because we don't get any federal or state money in for our transportation department, because the majority of our kids live within the 1.5 mile radius of their assigned school,” Rayburn said. “We only have 16 buses in our bus fleet, and only nine of those are able to transport sports teams and field trips. 

“It would impact our system if we had teams that had to leave and go to Columbus at noon to play a 4 o'clock softball game or to play a 6 o'clock basketball game. You're having to take two buses to take the boys and girls basketball teams.

“They didn't see it the way we did, and that's the way it goes sometimes.”

Region 1-AAAAAA will consist of Houston County, Lee County, Northside-Warner Robins, Central, Tift County and Veterans.

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