03/17/04 — 1-A realignment -- Carolina, Super-Six to stay

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1-A realignment -- Carolina, Super-Six to stay

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on March 17, 2004 1:59 PM

GREENVILLE -- Disagreement over conference realignment among Class 1-A eastern N.C. High School Athletic Association schools was widespread on the East Carolina University campus on Tuesday.

The six remaining members of the Carolina Conference proved to be an exception as members of the respective schools resoundingly voiced their approval of the state's plan to keep them together.

Pending final approval in April, it looks almost certain that Rosewood, Spring Creek, Princeton, North Duplin, North Johnston and Ayden-Grifton will remain in tact as a conference.

The current seven-team Carolina Conference will lose Farmville Central, who will go into a 2-A conference with Goldsboro, North Lenoir, Greene Central, Wilson Beddingfield, North Pitt and South Johnston.

The new realignment will go into effect during the 2005-2006 academic year. The only major effect on the Carolina schools will be in scheduling, especially football, as each team will likely look to pick up another non-conference opponent to fill the void of losing a conference game.

The Super-Six Conference, consisting of James Kenan, Wallace-Rose Hill, Union, Lakewood, Hobbton and Midway, should also remain as is.

Other than these two leagues, every other eastern 1-A conference had concerns and gripes over the proposed realignments.

* The current Atlantic Seven and Four Rivers Conferences will now be more geographically realigned on the coast with Manteo falling from the 3-A ranks to join Gates County, Camden, Perquimans, Creswell, Columbia and Cape Hatteras in one league.

* Mattamuskeet, Chocowinity Southside, Northside, Plymouth, Jamesville, Williamston, Bear Grass and Roanoke form another conference. Members of the current Atlantic Seven, consisting of mostly smaller schools, are weary of joining the ranks of some of the larger schools for fear of losing competitive balance -- especially in football.

* The three Pender County schools, Pender, Heide Trask and Topsail proposed three eight-team conferences that would keep the trio together and in a larger Coastal Plains Conference. The current draft has Trask and Pender joining East Columbus, West Columbus, East Bladen and South Robeson in a split 1A/2A Conference.

* Louisburg, of the current Tar Roanoke Conference, proposed to play up into a 2-A Conference with Roanoke Rapids, Tarboro, Northwest Halifax, Bunn, Franklinton, Southern Vance and Warren County. Under current rules, Louisburg is not allowed to play in a larger or smaller conference of differing classification by themselves.

Dixon High School's Homer Springs headed the discussion and is one of 18 members of the committee that will make the realignment official on April 20.