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Chargers proving they belong in GHSA

By Anthony Rhoads

The Eagle's Landing Christian Academy Chargers are wanting to make their first year in the Georgia High School Association count.

After competing several years in the Georgia Independent School Association, the Chargers made the jump to the GHSA this school year.

The football team set the pace in the fall by going 8-3 and making it to the state playoffs and now as the spring sports season is closing out the baseball team is more than holding up its end of the bargain by advancing to the state final 4.

"No comparison," ELCA head coach Joe Shadowens said of the differences between GHSA and GISA . "Georgia High School is much more organized and there's a better level of competition. We played in the final 4 in GISA and there's no comparison. There are good teams in GISA but the teams we've played in the playoffs are better than the GISA."

The Chargers are going to the Class A semifinals after beating No. 1-ranked Schley County in a best-of-three series Tuesday and Wednesday. The Chargers knocked off No. 4-ranked Temple last week and they opened the playoffs by sweeping Georgia Military College in the first round.

"We felt like we accomplished something," Shadowens said. "There's more respect in the GHSA. It was good for us to move to the GHSA."

As a junior pitcher at ELCA, Christian White has experience in both the GISA and GHSA.

"I think it's all the same," Christian White said. "There's not as many good team in GISA but Tattnall Square and Southland, the good teams in GISA came play with anybody in GHSA."

ELCA athletic director Scott Queen is ecstatic about what the baseball team has been able to accomplish this season.

"Who would have thought of it?" ELCA athletic director Scott Queen. "We are enjoying the success. The kids are working so hard. It's kind of a shock to everybody; we're just enjoying the ride. They're winning at the right time. We have enjoyed our move to the Georgia High School Association. The goal this year was just to be competitive and we've exceeded that."

The ELCA baseball team made the GISA Class AA semifinals three years ago and the Class AAA quarterfinals two years ago. Last year, the Chargers lost to eventual state champion Southland in the first round of the GISA triple-A playoffs.

Schedule change: The if-game in ELCA's best-of-three series has been changed from noon Tuesday to 5 p.m. The series opens with a doubleheader Monday at 5 p.m.