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NCHSAA releases second draft of conference realignment

CHAPEL HILL – A second proposal from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) has moved Bertie High School into an eight-team conference top-heavy with football powerhouses.

Meanwhile, the first draft of proposed conference realignment that was released last month remains unchanged for Hertford County High School in the second proposal. That nearly holds true for Northampton High School.

The latest proposal, released Jan. 14, puts Bertie, who went down to Class 1A in the realignment, in the same conference with several programs that have enjoyed recent success on the gridiron, including Tarboro High School who won two of the last five state titles.

Bertie’s new proposed conference also includes Washington County (formerly Plymouth High School, state football champions in 2012 and 2015), along with Gates County, North East Carolina Prep, Perquimans, Riverside-Martin (Williamston), and South Creek (Robersonville).

In the first draft, Bertie was paired with all of those aforementioned schools, minus Tarboro and North East Carolina Prep.

Bertie has two state football titles (1995 and 2000).

There was no change in the second draft for Hertford County, who remains a Class 2A school. If that proposal stands, the Bears will be in the same conference (2A/3A split) with 2A members Camden County, Edenton-Holmes, Manteo, Northeastern, and Pasquotank, along with Class 3A members Currituck County and First Flight.

Camden, Edenton-Holmes, and Manteo are currently Class 1A schools who are moving up in size to 2A. Meanwhile, Currituck and First Flight are currently Class 2A schools whose growing student enrollment will move them up to Class 3A for the start of the 2021-22 school year.

The second draft of the NCHSAA proposal keeps Northampton High School as a Class 1A school and in the same proposed conference with KIPP Pride Charter School, Northwest Halifax, Rocky Mount Prep, Southeast Halifax, Warren County and Weldon. The NCHSAA proposes to add North Edgecombe High School to that conference.

“This draft represents a sacrifice of time by committee members to review and study all submitted suggestions and proposals,” said NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker in an update to schools about the second draft. “While the draft does not satisfy all wishes and wants of each member school, it does represent an intentional effort by the committee to be fair and consistent in its decisions relative to any changes in conferences from the initial draft.”

Schools that are impacted or have changed from the first draft could formally appeal to the committee. The deadline for an appeal to conference placement in this second draft is 4 p.m. on Jan. 21.

The virtual appeal dates are Jan. 27 for schools in the East and Jan. 28 for schools in the West.

Once finalized, this latest realignment is a four-year plan (2021-2025).

 

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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