The decision brings to five the number of Georgia football-playing high schools that have opted out of fall sports, but the three Rockdale schools are the largest.
Twiggs County and Stewart County, which canceled their seasons recently, are Class A schools with fewer than 250 students. Rockdale County High has more than 2,000 students. Heritage’s enrollment is about 1,800 while Salem’s is around 1,200.
Rockdale County has been one of the more cautious school districts when it came to dealing with the pandemic. It was the last metro Atlanta district to allow summer conditioning when it called for a July start when the Georgia High School Association permitted other schools to begin June 8.
Salem football coach Jarret Laws declined comment on the latest news, citing school district policy, and referred questions to the district office. He did comment in June, when his team had to delay conditioning.
'‘While I’m frustrated, because I feel it’s important to get in front of our kids, especially at this time in our country, COVID still takes precedence,’' he said at the time.
Salem’s football team was 2-8 last season. Rockdale County finished 4-6. Heritage was 5-6.
Rockdale and Heritage are in the same Region 3-6A, which is now a four-team region with Alcovy, Evans, Grovetown and Lakeside of Evans.
Salem is in 5-3A with Cedar Grove, Greater Atlanta Christian, Westminster, Douglass, Carver of Atlanta, Redan and Sandy Creek.