A couple of weeks or so ago, I wrote in this space how followers of Halifax County High School sports teams would be wrong to expect that Comets teams will dominate the competition as a result of the school’s drop from Virginia High School League Class 5 to Class 4.
I explained that the competition in Class 4 was going to be just as tough as it was in Class 5, with the only thing changing is the schools the Comets will compete against in Class 4 Region D and in state competition should the Comets be fortunate enough to reach that stage.
My point has already been proven – and it didn’t take long for it to happen.
When the Comets golf team finished in a tie for fifth place in the season-opening John Scott Heritage Invitational Golf Tournament at London Downs Country Club in Forest they were third among the Region 4D teams competing in that tournament.
Blacksburg High School, which has won the Class 4 state title for something like three or four years in a row, won the tournament, with fellow Class 4 Region D member Jefferson Forest High School finishing a close second.
Halifax County was next in line among the Region 4D teams, finishing 20 shots down to Blacksburg and around a dozen shots behind Jefferson Forest.
Will Halifax County High School’s golf team improve and make a run at Blacksburg and Jefferson Forest in the Region 4D post-season tournament? Sure it will. But it will have to bring its “A” game to have a shot at beating them and making the field for the state tournament.
My point is that Blacksburg and Jefferson Forest are as good as any teams the Comets golf team faced the last two seasons in Class 5 Region D and in the Class 5 state tournament. The competition will be tough like that in every sport, with different teams in the region being at the top in different sports.
For those readers that missed the earlier column, as a result of decline in school enrollment, the Virginia High School League, in its latest realignment conducted almost a year ago, dropped Halifax County High School from Class 5 to Class 4.
From now through the 2022-2023 school year, Halifax County High School will compete in Region 4D. The region is an eight-school region that includes Halifax County High School, GW-Danville, E.C. Glass High School, Jefferson Forest High School, Amherst County High School, Salem High School, Blacksburg High School and Pulaski County High School.
Halifax County High School will continue to compete in the Piedmont District as it has done in previous years, with the exception that Franklin County High School will no longer be in the district as it has been moved to a district that aligns the school more closely with Roanoke-area schools.
Regular-season play will continue to be important for the Comets because like it was in Class 5, the team’s win percentage will determine their seeding for the post-season region tournaments.
One of the exceptions to that is football where ratings points will determine seedings for post-season region play. Of course, wins are important in the formula VHSL officials use to determine ratings points.
It will be an interesting year watching the Halifax County High School sports teams compete in Region 4D and in Class 4 and seeing which schools are the powerhouse schools in the different sports. And, who knows, maybe we will see the rekindling of some old rivalries from back in the days of the old Western District when Comets teams face GW, E.C. Glass and Amherst County in Region 4D contests.