Dalton High School received notification Thursday that a panel of four executive board members of the Georgia High School Association will hear the school's appeal today.
The school administration will request that four forfeited games assessed as a penalty for playing an ineligible player be restored. Dalton's football record dropped from 6-2 to 2-6 after the GHSA's ruling Wednesday.
The appeal will be heard in Thomaston at the GHSA office at 10 a.m. The school is required to pay a $500 fee to cover expenses for requesting a special meeting.
"I'm pleased that [GHSA director] Dr. [Ralph] Swearngin has agreed to expedite our appeal," Dalton athletic director Ron Ward said. "We feel it's important to resolve this quickly so that in the event our appeal is successful, we and our region competitors have the best opportunity to prepare for playoff games."
Ward said the appeal will address the basis for the penalty and not whether a player was eligible or ineligible. Then DHS administration will have an opportunity to respond and request that the forfeited games be restored.
Once he gets opponents' video, Chad Barger spends part of Saturday looking at it before sharing it with his staff on Sunday.
The problem last year and this year is that he won't know until noon or so Saturday who the Indians' first-round playoff opponent will be. Then he'll have to try and connect with that team's coach for a video exchange and only hope to have time left in the day to get an early look.
"The biggest thing is finding out who you're playing," he said. "We don't have a club although we have heard several scenarios."
The delayed video swap is just one of the problems coaches have with the current playoff system. They also don't know if they're going to host or travel.
"I usually try to set up film swaps early on Saturday mornings," Polk County coach Derrick Davis said. "It could be any one of four of five teams and we could get anybody from Alcoa to a district team. We might try to make a guess but we won't know for sure until [the TSSAA] announces it."
Davis is going to be doubly sure before he makes any calls.
"Two years ago they announced the brackets and coaches had swapped tapes, and they went back and changed the brackets," he said.
The teams for all six classifications will be posted at noon on the TSSAA website (www.tssaa.org) and will be reviewed on a TSSAA broadcast beginning at noon. That broadcast is supposed to be available on WTCI locally.
The championship games, to be held at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, are scheduled for Dec. 1-3. Division II games are Dec. 3 at 4:30 and 8, Division I classes 1A, 3A and 5A will be on Dec. 2 beginning at 1 p.m., and Division I Class 2A, 4A and 6A will be on Dec. 3 and also begin at 1.
Bears get defensive
Going into tonight's District 5-AAA championship against visiting McMinn County, eighth-ranked Bradley Central has shut out its last two opponents - county rival Walker Valley (42-0) and crosstown rival Cleveland (18-0).
Those are the first back-to-back shutouts for the Bears since 1980 and the first time they have had more than one shutout win in the same season since 2000.