Aug. 2—Frederica Academy sports will have a new governing body to play under for their sports, as the Georgia Independent Athletic Association (GIAA) rises to be the governing body.
"The GIAA is basically the athletic part of the GISA (Georgia Independent School Association)," said Frederica Athletic Director Carl Nash. "The GISA is still the overall governing body of all the independent schools but the GIAA is the governing body within that body that will be governing athletics. It is basically the Georgia Independent Athletic Association."
Being the athletic portion of the GISA, the GIAA has five districts for 11-man football, something that has grown with the increase of schools from around the state coming into the independent league.
"It's a little different because now they have 4A and a lot of the teams that came in from around Macon are larger schools," Nash said. "Some of the schools will play in region play such as Bulloch Academy. Using them as an example they will continue to play in our region, they probably have 250 more students than we have.
"So what they will do is they will play up in the playoffs, so they will be ranked by MaxPreps for the playoffs and they will be in the 4A tournament for football, basketball, and baseball. That's how they will do that. They will still play in our 3A region and be ranked within the 4A teams."
For the upcoming football season, the Knights will see a few changes in their region schedule, with Trinity Chrisitan dropping down a classification. The newest classification changes will see the Westminster School of Augusta join for all sports but football, as they play in the 8-man classification.
With so many changes coming, Frederica Academy will still reside in Class 3A and play the same region opponents and out-of-region foes that many have become familiar with. Those include the likes of John Milledge Academy and Tiftarea, no matter the presumed size of the schools.
"No they are still 3A," Nash said when asked if Frederica won't worry about John Milledge anymore. "I don't how that happened either but they are still 3A. We will compete with them in all team sports once again. If they happen to make a cross country or tennis or golf they will still compete in 3A."
The GISA held their state semifinals and championship games in Macon, with Nash saying football will continue to be held there under the governing GIAA. However, other sporting events will play at destinations that will see the highest bid come through for state championship games.
As the athletic director and former coach himself, Nash said things have been a little tricky to try and schedule games with so many teams going up or down in classification, thus affecting the upcoming playoff pictures.
"It's been a little different but not overly different for us," Nash said. "We have always played GHSA (Georgia High School Association) schools too in football and basketball and baseball. We will continue to do so. We still have our cross-over, so we will still do that and it really doesn't affect our scheduling that much. Where it does affect you obviously is when you get into the playoffs.
"You are going to have fewer teams that you will be competing against in the playoffs if some of those teams, such as Bulloch, move up. They had to with having over 700 plus kids. I know Westfield is over 700 kids. They have all moved up and once that happens you won't see them in the playoffs, and that's really the only difference."
One thing is for certain though, Frederica Academy will continue to put itself in the best possible positions to lift trophies at the end of the season.