George Walton Academy and Heritage of Newnan on Thursday became the seventh and eighth Class A private schools to announce this month they were leaving the Georgia High School Association for the Georgia Independent School Association next year. More likely will follow.
The departures leave the GHSA with 28 football-playing private schools in Class A for 2022-23. The number playing this season is 37.
The numbers are expected to dwindle further. Pacelli of Columbus also has indicated intentions to join GISA but has made no public announcement.
Six schools announcing their departures jointly last week were First Presbyterian, Tattnall Square, Stratford Academy and Mount de Sales of Macon, Strong Rock Christian of Locust Grove and Deerfield-Windsor of Albany. All were previous GISA members, as was George Walton Academy, a Monroe school that joined the GHSA in 2011.
On Wednesday, Holy Innocents’ and Trinity Christian of metro Atlanta were approved to play up in GHSA’s Class 4A starting next year. Aquinas of Augusta was approved for Class 2A.
Class A Public might pick up some schools that didn’t play football this season. Those are Pinecrest Academy and Our Lady of Mercy. Riverside Military also will drop back into A after playing in 2A.
Those leaving the GHSA increasingly isolate schools outside of metro Atlanta, especially Brookstone of Columbus and Savannah Christian, Calvary Day and Savannah Country Day in Savannah, making travel more costly.
GISA, an organization comprising mostly small private schools, has 27 football-playing schools this season.
As there are 34 GHSA schools that don’t have football teams, other sports will be less affected.