I have a few things to talk about in today’s blog that I’m going to mash together for you today. Let’s start off with the ridiculous situation with the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) state championships. Last year the championship games for each classification was supposed to be played in the new Mercedes Benz Dome in Atlanta; however, a freak snowstorm created some unsafe travel conditions so some of the games were postponed and rescheduled at one of the participating schools in each of the finals. This created a contingency plan devised before the season to avoid the same situation. It isn’t snow that is the problem this year, it is the Atlanta United Football (soccer) team. Their success has created a mess with the GHSA State Finals. Atlanta’s Major League Soccer club eliminated their semifinal opponent last night and will now host the MLS Cup on December 8th in the dome. This forced the “contingency plan” which now has the state finals being moved to December 11th & 12th. If you look on your calendar that is Tuesday and Wednesday. Dumb, dumb, dumb plan. I have never been an advocate of playing the state championship games in the dome. The smarter contingency plan should have been to play the games in alternate sites such as the stadiums at Georgia State, Georgia Tech and Mercer. This is one time in Georgia that football has been booted because of a soccer game.
Yesterday I was in the same room with our acting Attorney General, Matt Whitaker. Whitaker, who played for the Iowa Hawkeyes’ football team in the early 1990s, got a little ribbing about this years’ team. Whitaker graduated from Ankeny High School where he was pretty good. He was inducted into the Iowa High School Football Hall of Fame. At the University of Iowa, he played football for Hayden Fry. In his career, Whitaker had 21 catches for 203 yards and two touchdowns as tight end for the Hawkeyes and played in the 1991 Rose Bowl. One of his touchdowns came on a fake field goal against Illinois in 1990.
The Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) opens their 2018-2019 season tonight. The league will field 17 teams. The Mississauga Metro Stars and Orlando SeaWolves are the league’s newest teams. The Baltimore Blast have won the last three titles. The MASL represents the highest level of professional arena soccer in the world with teams in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The SeaWolves open their inaugural season tonight at home against the St. Louis Ambush while the Ontario Fury will host the Turlock Express. Last season’s top players were Ian Bennett (Milwaukee) with 50 goals, Kraig Chiles (San Diego) had 38 goals and Christian Gutierrez (El Paso) with 36.
Before I leave this blog post, I will tell you that I am tuning into the GHSA Class 5A semifinal playoff game between Warner Robins and Rome. The two teams met in the 2017 State Final. Yeah, I’d like to forget that game. Rome overwhelmed Warner Robins 38-0 in that game. Most folks say that Rome isn’t as good as last year’s team but the Wolves have only allowed their opponents more than 14 points in only two games this season and they are also riding a 40-game winning streak. I’d say that’s pretty good. Warner Robins hasn’t been too bad this season but tonight will be the first time I’m on the edge of my seat. I’m hoping for a better result than last season’s game.