With 2019 in the past, Northwest Georgia has plenty to look forward to as 2020 gets underway.
Here’s a look at some upcoming events and changes headed to Rome, Floyd County and the surrounding areas in 2020:
ACC Championships return to Rome
After a two-year absence, the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships will return to the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College.
This year, the event will take place April 15-19, and the following year on April 21-25, 2021.
The venue first hosted the event back in 2017 before returning to Cary, North Carolina, for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
The 2017 ACC Championships in Rome had record breaking attendance and saw North Carolina win the women’s title and Virginia claim the men’s championship.
It’ll be a busy year for the Rome Tennis Center as the ACC championships are just a small part of the several events the venue will host throughout the season.
High school teams will return to the courts in Rome as all classifications in the Georgia High School Association Tennis Championships will be hosted on May 9.
The USTA Girls’ 14 National Championships also returns Aug. 8-15.
Corky Kell Classic brings new teams
The Corky Kell Classic will return to Rome’s Barron Stadium for the third year in 2020, and with it will bring some new competition to the mix.
Barron Stadium will host two of the 11 games in the four-day event that is spread out over four separate venues.
First-time competitor Cedartown will face Carrollton in the opening game on Aug. 21, while Rockmart will face Rome High in the nightcap.
This will be the Wolves’ third straight appearance in the Classic after falling to Marietta last season 48-14, but topping the Blue Devils 51-41 in 2018.
Rome Braves to host All-Star Game
For the first time since 2007, the Rome Braves will host the South Atlantic League All-Star Game this year at State Mutual Stadium.
Last year’s All-Star Game included several Rome players, including Trey Harris, Greg Cullen, Logan Brown and Jose Montilla.
Rome last hosted the game 13 years ago, which featured several future and current major league players, including Chris Coghlan, Desmond Jennings and Eduardo Núñez. The Northern Division won 3-1.
In last year’s contest, the Southern Division, which includes the Rome Braves, lost to the Northern Division 6-2 after giving up five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
New classifications, region alignments
The GHSA altered the look of prep sports in Northwest Georgia just a bit with the release of its new classification alignments for the 2020-22 school years.
After eight years in Class 5A school, Rome High is set to move up to Class 6A, and Armuchee will drop down to Class A Public.
Other local moves include Rockmart moving from Class AA to Class 3A, Calhoun jumping from Class 3A to Class 5A, and Cartersville moving up one classification to Class 5A.
For Class A schools, there will be eight public-school regions and eight private-school regions, bringing about an end to the GHSA power ranking system to pick and seed playoff teams.