- Last Updated on 06:07 AM 09/21/12
- BY Joe Chandler
The Virginia High School League’s proposed six-classification system, along with new district and conference alignments is now a done deal.
Following a meeting Wednesday in Charlottesville, the Virginia High School League Executive Committee formally adopted the proposed six-classification system and finalized all of the district and conference assignments, with the changes to take place starting with the 2013-2014 school year.
For Halifax County High School, it means that the Comets will play in the Piedmont District starting next season. The Piedmont District will consist of Franklin County High School (2,167), Halifax County High School (1,663), GW of Danville (1,314), Bassett High School (1,212), Magna Vista High School (889), Tunstall High School (851), Patrick County High School (789) and Martinsville High School (657).
Franklin County High School is a 6A school, Halifax County High School is a 5A school, and GW and Bassett will be in the 4A class. Magna Vista High School, Patrick County High School and Tunstall High School are 3A schools, with Martinsville High School competing in the 2A class.
For post-season conference play among 5A schools, Halifax County High School will be in a conference that will include Charlottesville-area schools Albemarle High School and Orange High School.
All of the Piedmont District schools with the exception of Franklin County High School had been assigned prior to Wednesday’s meeting.
However, in an unexpected move Wednesday, the VHSL Executive Committee reversed two prior votes by the VHSL Redistricting & Reclassification Committee and placed Franklin County High School into the Piedmont District.
Franklin County High School had originally been assigned to the River Ridge District. The VHSL Redistricting & Reclassification Committee had twice turned down appeals from Pulaski County High School and Carroll County High School seeking to keep Franklin County High School from being placed into that district.
Those appeals were based on the school’s enrollment and the round-trip travel to Rocky Mount.
Another appeal over Franklin County High School’s placement came Wednesday from Hidden Valley High School. Following discussion, the VHSL Executive Committee moved Franklin County High School to the Piedmont District.
Franklin County High School cannot appeal that decision.
As part of the new six-classification format and the formation of districts that include teams of multiple size classifications, the VHSL adopted a rule in which smaller schools separated by three or more size classifications will not be forced to schedule and play larger schools.
In Halifax County High School’s case, only one school in the Piedmont District, Martinsville High School, would have that option. Halifax County High School Athletic Director Allen Lawter said yesterday that as far as he knew, Martinsville High School will continue to play Halifax County in all sports.
As a result of being placed into the Piedmont District, Halifax County High School will see some relief with regard to travel during the regular-season, as well as some relief with regard to scheduling games.
The Comets will now face seven district teams in each sport, thus leaving fewer holes in schedules for school officials to fill.
“We can now move forward and start working on schedules for next year and getting some things nailed down,” Lawter said.
Franklin County High School, the largest high school west of Richmond, could possibly face some scheduling issues in the Piedmont District. Only Halifax County, GW and Bassett will be required to play Franklin County. The other four Piedmont District schools can choose whether or not to play Franklin County High School.
Franklin County High School was facing the same situation had it been allowed to remain in the River Ridge District, as four schools in that district would not have been required to play the Eagles.