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      Security the key to a winning season

      Spectator safety a talking point for school officials at a conference in Columbus.
      Summer is skidding to a stop and with the calendar about to flip to August, that means football teams are headed back onto the gridiron in 2013.

      "Football here in the State of Georgia, it's a very popular sport, school's from small to large are always packing their stadiums," said Area D - School Safety Coordinator, James Westbrook.

      But for the 2013 season, safety is the key with an emphasis on making sure everyone is having a good, wholesome experience.

      "When you have a thousand people in a stadium, what are you going to do to protect all of the people. Not just your own students, but all of your visitors that are sitting there as well," said Vice Principal, Melissa Trimeloni.

      "The biggest issue is the safety of not only the participants, the referees, but also the crowd in general," said Westbrook.

      School officials met in Columbus last week to discuss the most important parts of these community events. And one of the main talking points was new regulations that require an upped sense of security.

      "The Georgia High School Athletic Association, has new requirements in the last couple years, requiring schools to have an emergency action plan specifically for all athletics events. This helps cover violent incidents, this helps cover severe weather incidents, basically any kind of events that could occur at these athletic facilities," said Westbrook.

      With new regulations in place and a strong understanding throughout the state, Westbrook says these moves can only enhance what is already a great time under the bright lights of Friday night.

      Stay connected to MySouthWestGA.com as stories develop and the FOX 31 Newscast at 10 PM. Visit us on Facebook and Twitter to join in on the conversation and connect with FOX 31!