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VHSL looks ahead to 2015 changes for schools

SoVaNow.com / July 16, 2014
The Virginia High School League has released proposed changes for how schools are placed in respective districts, conferences and regions for the years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017.

Thus far none of the changes will have a direct effect on teams in the James River District, Conference 34 or the Tri-Rivers District, Conference 25. Bluestone and Park View High Schools are members of each respectively.

As for area schools, Halifax County High School probably experienced the most direct result of the proposed changes. Halifax is currently in Conference 16, with Albemarle, Patrick Henry-Ashland and Orange County.

The proposed changes would move Halifax to Conference 12 with the likes of L.C. Bird, Highland Springs, Matoaca, Meadowbrook, Prince George, and Varina.

5A North Conference 16 would consist of Albemarle, Atlee, Deep Run, Mills Godwin, Patrick Henry – Ashland and Orange County.

The VHSL sent out a questionnaire earlier this year in hopes of receiving feedback in gauging how each school felt about its own district,

The survey included an area to express one’s opinion regarding certain aspects of the proposed changes and was addressed by 236 VHSL member schools.

Halifax County High School is currently in the Piedmont District and stated that they wanted to stay in that district as the next alignment was being planned.

Halifax also expressed the same desire to stay in Conference 16 and the 5A North region. The option is still available for Halifax to appeal the proposed changes.

Though Bluestone’s district and conference remained unchanged, a change in the conference settings could mean more teams for Bluestone to compete with – especially as they get deeper in conference playoffs.

John Marshall, Washington & Lee, Central (W) and Stuarts Draft classifications were changed and this puts these schools in the East 2A Region, with Bluestone.

Other schools in Conference 34, 2A East Region are Amelia County, Brunswick, Goochland, Greensville, Nottoway and Prince Edward. It should be noted even here that though Brunswick is in Conference 34 with Bluestone, the schools are not in the district.

A questionnaire report for Bluestone was not found among the responding schools.

Park View, which is in Conference 25 claims Brunswick and Greensville as district foes.

The Dragons won’t experience any direct result of the proposed changes until they reach conference and region playoffs.

Six schools are moving within the 3A East Region — James Monroe, Spotsylvania, Brentsville Dist., and Culpeper. Manassas and Riverside. Five additional schools join the 3A East Region because of changed classifications — I.C. Norcom, Lakeland, Phoebus, Tabb and B.T. Washington.

On Park View’s questionnaire they expressed that they wanted to remain in their respective district, conference and region. Stating that if they could add a school to its present district line-up it would be, Colonial Heights.

Park View also responded that the athletic programs were concerned about the number of higher-classification schools available to play during district play.

Park View’s athletics director, Julia McInturf said, “The major issue that I have had with the new alignment is scheduling- it hurts us to play level 1 and 2 schools in some sports because they are not on the level that we are. It is also assumed that when you play schools below you that you will always win this is also not true when you play schools that win - the state competition in their level. Larger schools do not want to play smaller schools because they are hurt on the point system, and geographically we are limited to who we can play.”

The VHSL posted a cumulative report on several of the questions they asked and the percentage of respondents. One area of concern for most all schools were finances and time of travel to games.



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