Gulfport AD comments on MHSAA moving title football games to MSU & Ole Miss

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - MHSAA executive director Don Hinton made the announcement at a news conference in Jackson this morning.

The state football championship games will no longer be played at Jackson's Veterans Memorial Stadium.  Instead the games will alternate between Mississippi State and Ole Miss.

Hinton said,"It's absolutely positive." He added,"I'm sure there's a little bit of disappointment, maybe in and around the city, but again we host all but those two events here in Jackson."

Hinton said there's a possibility that the games could return to the city of Jackson.  He said he's received great feedback and a positive reaction from coaches and fans.

What is the reaction to the move out of Jackson and onto the campuses of Mississippi State and Ole Miss from the coast view point?

Gulfport High School athletic director Bryan Caldwell isn't jumping for joy following the news that the title games will be played in Travailed and Oxford.

Here's the breakdown for the football championships games. Instead of the title game being played at Jackson's Mississippi Memorial Stadium, Davis Wade Stadium on the campus of Mississippi State will be the host site this season and again in 2016.

Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on the campus of Ole Miss will be the site of the championship football games in 2015 and 2017.

Southern Miss has been left out of the state title games but Roberts Stadium in Harrisburg will host the Mississippi-Alabama Football Classic in 2015 and 2017.

Caldwell said,"I've got mixed emotions. I like the outside the box thinking that the Activities Association has taken on regarding this issue and I don't think there's any question that Veteran's Memorial Stadium is not a very quality venue any longer." He added,"I like the fact that we're going to other places, but the truth of the matter is Oxford is five hours away from the coast and Travailed is four hours from the coast and we have moved our championship games even further from where our high schools down here."

Caldwell believes playing at Mississippi State and Ole Miss is super and says it would have been even better if Southern Miss was part of the mix.

"I like the idea of neutral sites and I think the university concept is a good one but I wish we were playing a game in Harrisburg as well because that would give the schools on the coast and in the Pine Belt an equally short trip for the state championships games as those schools in North Mississippi and Central Mississippi have always had," stated Caldwell.

Caldwell is thankful that Southern Miss will host the 2015 and 2017 Mississippi-Alabama football classic.

He added,"That's all fine and good, I'm glad that game is coming to Mississippi but again my priority is our athletes in Gulf port and our athletes on the coast and I'm not sure how this is going to affect them."

The Mississippi High School Activities Association also announced that the state basketball tournament's boys quarterfinals will be played at Jackson State.

Jackson's Mississippi Coliseum will host the girls quarterfinals and the boys and girls championship games.

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