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HCHS in Piedmont District under plan


A proposal released Monday by the ’s Redistricting & Reclassification Committee has Halifax County High School moving to the Piedmont District for the two-year cycle beginning with the 2013-2014 school year. Virginia High School League officials have been working on a plan for several months that will increase the number of classifications from three to six and place schools into closer neighborhood districts.


The VHSL proposal released Monday would have Halifax County High School in Division 5, with the school being placed into the Piedmont District with GW of Danville, Tunstall High School, Martinsville High School, Bassett High School, Magna Vista High School, and Patrick County High School.

Halifax County High School Athletic Director Allen Lawter says if the proposed plan goes through, it will be a huge benefit to the school’s student athletes and to the school in terms of travel time and expense.

“Instead of having to go to Roanoke two times for every sport, you’re talking about going to Pittsylvania County, Henry County, Martinsville and Patrick County,” Lawter pointed out.

“Not only are the trips shorter, you’re looking at traveling Route 58, which is a four-lane highway, instead of traveling Routes 501 and 40. Our trips will be shorter and under better conditions.”

The trip to Patrick County High School in Stuart would be the longest trip Halifax County High School would take for regular-season district play. That trip is just over two hours.

As far as competition goes, Lawter says he does not see a great deal of difference between the level of the competition that Halifax County High School has now and what it will face in the Piedmont District.

“We play a lot of those schools anyway,” Lawter noted.

“We play Martinsville, Magna Vista and GW now. We’ve played Tunstall some in the past and that was competitive. We have played Bassett in the past in football. It’s very competitive. We win some and they win some. I think it’s going to be the same way. Certain schools have better programs in certain sports. I don’t see the competition being very much different.”

The proposal released Monday by the VHSL still has a ways to go before being finalized. VHSL officials are awaiting March 31 school enrollment figures from the Virginia Department of Education before finalizing classification and district placements.

Numbers used for district placements in the proposal were Sept. 30, 2011 numbers.

There are procedures in place for schools to appeal their district placements if they deem it necessary to do so, and there are other issues that must resolved including how teams will qualify for and advance to post-season playoffs within their division classification.

“I don’t know if we really have a magic date (for finalizing the classification and district placements) right now,” Lawter said.

“This could go into the summer or early fall before everything is decided.”

There will be no Western Valley District under the new proposal. Franklin County High School and Patrick Henry High School and William Fleming High School of Roanoke, all of which are part of the current Western Valley District with Halifax County and GW, will move to new districts.

Under the proposal, Patrick Henry High School will be placed into the River Ridge District and William Fleming High School will be placed into the Blue Ridge District. Franklin County High School is penciled into the Seminole District.