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Western Valley District Remains Intact

The Western Valley District will remain intact under the initial plan composed Tuesday by the Virginia High School League Redistricting and Reclassification Committee.

Halifax County High School Athletic Director Allen Lawter said the enrollment numbers of all five current Western Valley District schools were high enough to keep them within the Group AAA category for the two-year cycle encompassing the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years.

Lawter said he had somewhat expected to see enrollment figures at GW in Danville and at William Fleming High School in Roanoke to drop to a point where both GW and William Fleming would fall into the Group AA category.
That, however, did not happen.

The HCHS athletic director said William Fleming’s numbers (1,554 students) put it either the smallest or next-to-smallest Group AAA school. GW’s numbers (1,588 students) dropped to a point where GW stands among the bottom six or seven Group AAA schools.

William Fleming High School and GW are the two smallest schools in the Northwest Region in terms of enrollment.

“None of the district schools came up with (Group) AA numbers,” Lawter said.

“The people from GW seemed surprised by their numbers. Fleming is either last or next-to-last on the list. I don’t know what (officials of) either school will do (in terms of possible appeals).”

Lawter said the issue may come up for discussion when the district athletic directors gather for the group’s meeting in early December.

The VHSL’s Redistricting and Reclassification Committee will field proposals for modifications to its initial plan when it meets January 26, 2010 in Charlottesville.

Had both GW and William Fleming High School fallen into the Group AA category, Halifax County High School, Franklin County High School in Rocky Mount and Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke would have been left out in the cold.

That scenario would have put pressure on VHSL officials to place the three schools in a combination district with area Group AA schools and make provisions that would allow the AAA schools to compete in Group AAA regional playoffs.


“If the three of us had been left, I think the VHSL would have had to do something,” Lawter said.

“You can’t have a district with three teams.”

Lawter said there was little movement among Northwest Region schools in the committee’s initial plan.

Sherando High School in Stephens City, a community near Winchester, Broad Run High School in Ashburn and Freedom High School of South Riding were placed into the Cedar Run District to join Battlefield High School in Haymarket, Stonewall Jackson High School of Manassas and Osbourn High School of Manassas.

Orange County High School of Orange was added into the Commonwealth District. 

Battlefield High School, with 2,873 students, is the largest of the Northwest Region schools. Franklin County High School, with 2,284 students, is the largest of the Western Valley District schools.