Written by: Melina Wisecup
Bobcat Athletics is set to host the 2016 Peach Belt Championships for men’s and women’s cross country, volleyball and softball teams.
The three sports combined will bring 38 different teams to Georgia College in November to compete in this year’s tournament. This year will be the third year in a row that GC hosts the softball championships, the second year hosting cross-country and the first year hosting the volleyball championships. The last cross-country tournament hosted at GC was at West Campus in 2007.
West Campus, a smaller venue for crosscountry, is not ideal for runners or spectators. Thanks to Milledgeville resident Mr. Wade Council, the cross-country teams have had the opportunity to practice and hold meets at the Council’s farm for the past few years. “We are blessed to have people who are willing to share their land with our athletes,” said Cary.
The change from hosting meets at West Campus to the Council’s farm has resulted in more teams signing up for meets at GC and has assisted in the process of hosting the championships this year. There has also been an increase in spectators coming to the events since the venue change because the fans are able to see more of the runners throughout the entire race. The school is working on getting a shuttle to the Council family’s farm, located off of McCranie Rd., for the students and other fans who wish to attend the meets and PBC.
“Hosting the championships is an accomplishment in itself because it gives us the opportunity to showcase our campus, local hotels and restaurants around Milledgeville,” said Weston. “During the few days of the PBC, the local businesses are booming, and we are happy to support the people and companies who support us.”
Hosting the tournament also creates unity between the coaches, teams and athletic departments because they all work together to make sure the event is running smoothly, such as cross-country coach Steven Cary and softball coach Patrick Garrett teaming up to run the concession stand at the other PBC tournaments. “It’s fun to showcase the school and show off Georgia College hospitality,” said Cary.
(Feature image by: GC Athletics)