UPDATING: Two Friday title games, first two Saturday games postponed due to weather

Due to worsening weather conditions, the GHSA in consultation with Mercedes-Benz Stadium staff and weather services has postponed Friday’s 4:30 and 8 p.m. state championship football games, Rome vs. Warner Robins and Coffee vs. Lee County. Saturday’s first two games, Irwin County vs. Clinch County and Hapeville Charter vs. Rabun County, originally scheduled for 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., are postponed as well.

“The developments with the weather are getting worse,” GHSA Executive Director Dr. Robin Hines told Georgia Public Broadcasting host Jon Nelson at halftime of the Class AAA game between Calhoun and Peach County, which started at 1 p.m. “There is more snow that is going to be coming in after six o’clock and safety has to be our number one priority. The decision has been made after consulting with the Falcons staff, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the weather service and our staff, we are going to postpone the next two games today because we are concerned about people coming in.

“If people are coming to the stadium now, we want them to turn around and go back because it’s already getting tough driving around Atlanta and it’s going to get worse. So we want to keep people from the downtown area and we want to finish [the Class AAA championship game] and have people be able to go home and leave and be safe.”

Per GHSA rules, the four games will be played next weekend at the sites of the higher-seeded teams, or if the teams are the same seed, the host will be determined by coin flip. The games will be played either next Friday or Saturday, Dec. 15 or 16, with the schedule to be finalized at a later time.

After a coin flip between Class AAAAA finalists Warner Robins and Rome, Warner Robins was awarded the home championship game. Lee County earned the No. 1 seed in Region 1-AAAAAA ahead of region mate Coffee, the No. 2, giving Lee County the home game. In Class A-Public, Irwin County finished No. 1 ahead of No. 2 Clinch County in Region 2 and will host. Rabun County won hosting duties in Class AA on a coin flip, as both Rabun and Hapeville Charter are No. 1 seeds.

Hines said that Saturday’s first two games were delayed because of forecasts predicting more inclement weather on Friday evening and into Saturday. Additionally, Class AA participant Rabun County would encounter travel concerns due to its location on the Georgia-North Carolina border. As of now, the Class AAAA and Class AAAAAAA championship games are scheduled for their original times of 4:30 and 8 p.m.

“Temperatures are going to go below freezing,” Hines said. “We expect more precipitation and we’re concerned about that, but as [Saturday] goes on, it is going to get better.”

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