For the first time in its 11-year history, the Regions Directors Cup was presented to winning programs at the same event. The occasion was the Regions Directors Cup Winners Reception, hosted by Georgia Public Broadcasting at their headquarters in Midtown Atlanta.
All seven cup winners were represented and accepted awards at the banquet. Athletic directors from each school were there to accept the awards and make a short speech. Each and every one made a reference to how much they appreciated the contest and the sponsors of the event, including Regions Bank, the Georgia Athletic Directors Association and Score Atlanta.
The Directors Cup is a team sports competition in which programs accumulate points for each varsity sport played based on playoff finishes. Standings are kept for each classification, gender, sport and region. Awards are given to the overall winners for each classification, winners for each gender in each classification, and region winners.
During the banquet, overall and gender winners from each classification were recognized. A representative from each winning program was present to accept the award. GPB Director of Sports and Score Atlanta President I.J. Rosenberg emceed the event.
Among the honored guests there to show their support were Bob Stinchcomb, current president of the GADA; Alan Sharp of the GHSA; Dave Hunter, former football coach at Brookwood; David Smith, executive vice president of Regions Bank; and former GADA president Jeff Beggs.
Marilyn Stansbury, Director of Education at GPB, let her feelings known about high school sports.
“We love high school sports,” said Stansbury. “We’ve been covering sports for 19 years with Prep Sports Plus, which is now Sports Central.”
In fact, GPB loves high school sports so much that they extended their commitment to showing high school games through 2016. Their viewership and readership has grown quite a bit since deciding to cover high school sports. Football webcasts averaged between 1,500 and 8,000 viewers this past season, while the GPB sports website (GPB.org/sports) saw 400,000 page views (100,000 unique) and had viewers from all 50 states and 25 different countries.
A fellow GPB employee once asked Stansbury, “Did you ever think streaming a football game would open an entire division?” It is amazing to think about, but that is what began the current wide expanse of high school sports coverage GPB provides.
Stansbury relayed a heart-felt example of the type of connections GPB fosters in their sport coverage. She told of a soldier stationed overseas who was able to see his younger brother play football on a GPB webcast.
She also mentioned how much high school sports affect the local communities.
“We know that, for each athlete, there are band members, cheerleaders, families and friends who are participating and engaged due to that one person.”
Dave Smith represented Regions Bank at the event, and told of his loyalty to supporting high school athletics.
“We are proud to be a sponsor and we hope to be for years to come.”
And, to be sure, Georgia high school athletics appreciates those sentiments.