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PREPS NOTEBOOK: GHSA money matters; Senior Basketball Showcase Preview; Calvary, SCPS baseball set for series showdown

JAUDON SPORTS

Updated March 26, 2023 at 7:46 p.m.

Dr. Robin Hines

The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Board of Trustees approved on March 20 a three-year renewal for the contract of Executive Director, Dr. Robin Hines. It assures that Hines will remain in the role through May of 2026. Hines has been leading the state’s ruling body for high school athletics since 2017 and was previously given a similar three-year extension in 2020.

Also of note from the GHSA’s official website regarding Hines’ as the Executive Director … The Executive Director’s position was paid an annual salary of $180,250 in 2022. That’s up about $5,000 from the $175,000 salary paid to Hines in 2021. He made $125,000 in 2017 during his first year on the job and, seven years later, his salary has increased by more than $55,000. Not too shabby if you ask me.

Unrelated to Hines, but directly related to GHSA in its money matters is the organization’s official audit report for the 2021-22 athletics year. That report revealed an alarming number of fines issued by the GHSA to member schools for various violations of the minor and major variety.

Consider this too: In just one year (2021-22), the GHSA issued 576 sanctions with fines amounting to more than $230,000 in total. That’s roughly $400 per fine, so not all that much in comparison to other figures. One would think that if fines were truly to be used as a deterrent, and we know that they aren’t, then the average fine should certainly be stiffer than a few hundred bucks. Examples of listed fines in 2021-22 included: Ineligible player participation, coach and/or player ejections, failure to notify and criticizing officials through the media.

DIAMOND NOTES

A big-time baseball series is on the slate for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week. A pair of Savannah’s blueblood baseball programs, Calvary Day and Savannah Christian, are squaring off in a critical three-game region series with state playoff implications squarely at stake. Games one and three (Tuesday & Thursday) are at Savannah Christian with 5:30 p.m. first pitches. Wednesday’s game at Grayson Stadium is set for 6 p.m.

Savannah Christian (12-4, 6-0 region 3-3A) started this week ranked No. 2 in Class 3A by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution while the Cavs (12-4, 6-0) came in at No. 3. The rivals are tied atop the region standings ahead of No. 9 Long County (11-7, 3-3) and Savannah Country Day (8-9, 3-3). They won’t play again in the regular season, so the winner of the SCPS/CDS series will control its own destiny as the favorite to win the region championship.

Ranked No. 4 in Class 4A by the AJC this week, Benedictine (12-6, 4-2 region 3-4A) has suffered a pair of upset losses in region play over the last few weeks. The Cadets have won eight of their last 10 games with losses to Islands and Burke County along the way.

They are tied in second behind region leader Wayne County (13-6, 6-0), but head coach Kevin Farmer’s club tends to play its best baseball in April and May so an upcoming three-game series against Wayne could be the time when the Cadets really take off.

SENIOR HOOPS SHOWCASE THIS WEEK

The Savannah Senior Showcase All-Star Basketball games are set for Wednesday, March 29 at Savannah High School. An exhibition contest featuring some of the area’s top senior hoopers, the showcase begins with a girls game at 6 p.m. before the boys hit the hardwood at 7:30.

Teams for the boys game are determined by the Monday night “draft” of the eligible players by coaches Chuck Campbell (Johnson), George Brown (Savannah), Simon Heyward (Beach) and Kevin Evans (Groves). Notable players committed to be in the game include: Antonio Baker (Johnson), Shamarrie Hugie (Beach), Zyere Edwards (St. Andrew’s), Alfonzo Ross (Woodville-Tompkins), Stephon Frazier (Benedictine), James Leach (Beach) and Qurahn Anderson (Windsor Forest).

The format allows for some unique opportunities for players, coaches and fans alike. Some teammates, like Leach and Hugie for instance, could wind up playing against each other for the first and only time ever. And maybe Heyward will have to coach against one or both, trying to scheme against them instead of for them.

But one aspect stands out above the rest this year, in my opinion. St. Andrew’s guard Zyere Edwards – the two-time GIAA 3A state champion and state Player of the Year – is as good as any player in the city. Most everyone can agree on that. Still, he doesn’t get many chances to play alongside and against the kind of talent that will be on the court this week. It’s an exhibition, and Edwards has absolutely nothing left to prove but he can certainly make a statement in his final game ever in the city.

If past Savannah senior showcase games are any indication, expect the boys game to feature a ton of points, plenty of dunks, lots of highlights and very little defense. And for me, that’s the perfect recipe for a great all-star game. Tickets are not available at the gate and will need to be purchased ahead of time on the Go Fan app or website. More information on ticket links will be available at some point on Monday. Follow me on Twitter (@JaudonSports) for that link. 

Published March 26, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

Travis Jaudon

Travis Jaudon is a reporter for Connect Savannah. He is a Savannah native and has been writing in Savannah since 2016. Reach him with feedback or story tips at 912-721-4358
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