This weekend is the last time Georgia high school football state championships will be played in the Georgia Dome. The dome has hosted the championship games in all classifications since 2008. Prior to that season, semifinal games were played in the dome and championship games were played at the host school.
Personally I have never been a fan of playing the championship games in the dome. I have always felt that the games lost a little of their magic taking it away from the communities that have supported their teams the entire season. The only state championship game I attended at the Georgia Dome was when Clinch County defeated Savannah Christian in 2010.
In the first title games played in the dome in 2008, the results were:
- Wesleyan 33, Emanuel County Institute 21
- Buford 45, Calhoun 21
- Cairo 28, Flowery Branch 14
- Tucker 15, Marist 3
- Camden County 21, Peachtree Ridge 14
There were five classifications in 2008. Today there are eight with a new classification (7A) added this season.
Like the 2008 games, both Buford and Tucker are playing for state titles this season. Grayson coach Jeff Herron was the coach for Camden County in 2008.
The games may move to the new Mercedes Benz Stadium next season but no plans have been finalized. If the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) is intent on playing the championship games at a centrally-located, neutral site, they should consider Mercer University’s football stadium in Macon, Georgia.
When the final game has been played and the lights go out in the Georgia Dome, eight state champions will be crowned and in the end it will not matter where they played the game.