When Lincoln County fans left Buddy Bufford Field triumphantly last December, everyone expected that game to be the last state championship game to be held there. The Georgia High School Association changed their minds March 13, as the planned 2006 experiment with neutral sites has been cancelled.
The GHSA Executive Committee voted to make some changes in the way playoff sites are determined and championship games are managed.
For the quarterfinals and finals, the higher seeded team will be the host team. If the higher seeded team does not meet the required standards to host, they may secure a suitable site.
If both teams have the same seeding, and both sites meet/exceed GHSA standards, a coin toss will determine the host team. If only one site meets/exceeds GHSA standards, that school will host. If neither site meets GHSA standards, the Executive Director will designate a neutral site.
For the finals, GHSA will now provide tickets, ticket sellers, ticker takers, pass gate personnel, a game manager, pressbox manager, and the stadium PA announcer. Also provided by GHSA will be programs and program sellers, and merchandise vendors. The host school will provide the stadium, restrooms, concession stands (and workers), security, a "properly marked field", dressing facilities, and custodial staff.
The host school retains all revenue from concessions and parking, but will not be allowed to sell host-school merchandise at the vent.
The bottom-line: Buddy Bufford Field may again host a state football championship game. Of course, our Red Devils will have to earn the honor on the gridiron to play in another title game.