Are changes coming?
In a story recently published by The Clarion-Ledger, the MHSAA is exploring the possibility of hosting their six state football championships at a different venue each season.
Currently, all of the state title games are held at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson, a good location because it’s right in the middle of the state and roughly the same distance from both the northern and southern boundaries of Mississippi.
However, the governing body of public high school athletics is seriously considering a change. According to the story, possibilities for new locations would be the football stadiums of Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Southern Miss.
Personally, I don’t think having the state championships held each year in Jackson is that bad of an idea. You don’t have any school complaining of having to travel too far because it’s the same for everybody. It’s great for schools in Yazoo County because it’s only a 45-minute drive to Jackson.
Should they change the venue to a three-location rotation, that wouldn’t be a good thing for Yazoo County schools. Oxford is 144 miles away, Hattiesburg is 135 miles away and Starkville is the closest at 116 miles. Those are all drives that will last over two hours.
Granted, if this becomes the normal routine, no school will say they aren’t going because it’s too far. I mean, this is the state championship we’re talking about and no high school will miss that if given the chance.
It would also be great for the players to get to experience what its like to play in a big time college football stadium.
A lot of states play their state championships in college or professional venues. Alabama rotates between Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium and Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium. In Texas they play the games at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium (an awesome experience it was to play at the old stadium back in 2006).