When the announcement came down from the GHSA that Dougherty, Albany and Worth County athletics had been reclassified to 3-A, the schools knew they had to move quickly.
They did this week, when they filed forms to stay in 4-A on Monday.
The reason for this decision is simple: travel. There are very few 3-A schools in South Georgia, so student-athletes would be likely to miss large chunks of classroom time.
"You could've played in the region in Columbus, we could've played in the region in Macon," said Johnny Seabrooks, director of athletics for the Dougherty County school system. "So when you start talking about the uncertainty of where you could play, the best decision was to play where they knew they could be."
Cook is joining 4A-Region 1 for all sports, while Thomas County Central and Bainbridge are joining the region for all sports except football.