When athletes who attend more than 30 private middle schools across Georgia take to the fields after summer break, they will be doing so as the inaugural class of the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association’s (GICAA) new Middle School Athletic League.
Expected to start in the fall, the league will bring together private, independent and faith-based middle schools from across Georgia to compete in a variety of sports, including football, volleyball, cross country, baseball, soccer, softball and swimming.
“We are excited to launch this groundbreaking opportunity for Georgia’s private middle schools and their young athletes,” GICAA President Todd Hannon said in a press release. “GICAA strongly supports quality athletics, team work and sportsmanship – and we are carrying these founding principles into our Middle School Athletic League as we continue working to help our youth and our schools thrive.”
The new program is a natural extension of the previously established, highly successful, high school league, which was formed in 2013 to create an environment where traditional and nontraditional high school teams could compete in both athletic and academic competition while building on the principles of fair play and good sportsmanship.
The Cumming-based organization includes more than 85 member schools
and has quickly become the premiere athletic league in Georgia.
The list of Cobb schools to join includes: Atlanta Adventist Academy, Marietta; Cornerstone Preparatory Academy, Acworth; Covenant Christian Ministries Academy, Marietta; Covenant Christian School, Smyrna; Cumberland Christian Academy, Marietta; Eastside Christian School, Marietta; First Baptist Christian School, Kennesaw; Furtah Preparatory School, Acworth; Hearts Academy, Powder Springs; Johnson Ferry Christian Academy, Marietta; Midway Covenant Christian School, Powder Springs; and Praise Academy, Powder Springs.
“The beauty for us is GICAA is in it for the right reason — to help private, independent and faith-based schools play on a level field,” says Chuck Wimberly, who serves as the head master, head football coach and baseball coach of Thomas Jefferson Academy in Louisville, Ga.
The goal of GICAA is to provide students with the opportunity to compete at their highest levels while encouraging them to grow into responsible, well-rounded adults. Its unique structure allows member schools to give unparalleled levels of input in the league’s governing rules – and for teams to be assigned to divisions and classifications based upon school enrollment, geography and institutional priorities. This innovative approach creates an atmosphere where students and schools can achieve their highest potential.
“We find a home for the athlete who is not a part of the public school system because we think the needs for the private and faith-based schools are different than the public schools,” Hannon says.GICAA is accepting membership applications from private, independent and faith-based high schools and middle schools. For more information, visit www.GICAAsports.com.