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New VHSL district alignments a step closer

The Virginia High School League’s proposed six-classification system and new district and conference alignments moved a step closer to reality Tuesday as the VHSL Redistricting and Reclassification Committee met to act on a series of appeals to district and conference placements.

None of the appeals involved Halifax County High School or any of the other six schools that Halifax County High School will join in the Piedmont District starting with the 2013-2014 school year, and no action involving the district was taken.

Earlier this year, the VHSL moved from a three-classification system to a six-classification system. In the process, the VHSL realigned a number of districts to create more of a “neighborhood district” format, with districts containing schools from multiple classifications.

Halifax County High School, which will be a Division 5 school, was placed into the Piedmont District, which will also include GW of Danville, Tunstall High School, Martinsville High School, Magna Vista High School, Bassett High School and Patrick County High School.

“I think it (the placement into the Piedmont District) will be good for us,” said Halifax County High School Athletic Director Allen Lawter.

“It will mean decreased travel, which is good.”

For conference play, Halifax County High School will be in Conference 16 with Charlottesville-area schools Albemarle High School and Orange High School.

“There is travel involved there, but you would normally expect that in post-season play anyway because there are no Division 5 schools close to us,” Lawter pointed out.

Under the VHSL’s proposed rules, the VHSL would not force schools separated by three or more classifications to schedule each other, regardless of whether or not they are in the same district.

Also, starting with the 2013-2014 school year, regular-season district play will not determine whether or not a team qualifies for post-season playoffs. 

All of the VHSL’s six divisions will be divided into eight conferences. In all team sports, with the exception of football, each conference will qualify two teams for state playoffs.

There are only two opportunities for changes to proposed district and conference alignments, those coming when the VHSL Executive Committee meets the week of Sept. 19, and when the full VHSL membership meets in October to take a final vote.

The likelihood of any changes with regard to Halifax County High School’s placement is almost none.

“I don’t think there will be any change,” Halifax County High School Athletic Director Allen Lawter said Thursday.

“The only question left is where Franklin County High School will be placed.”

On Tuesday, the VHSL Redistricting and Reclassification Committee rejected a second appeal from Pulaski County High School and Carroll County High School, both of which are seeking to keep Franklin County High School out of the River Ridge District.

Barring a reversal of that action by the VHSL Executive Committee on Sept. 19, Franklin County High School will remain in the River Ridge District. If Tuesday’s decision is overturned by the VHSL Executive Committee, Franklin County High School could be moved, possibly to the Piedmont District.