06/27/04 — New developments in final realignment draft

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New developments in final realignment draft

By David Williams
Published in Sports on June 27, 2004 2:00 AM

Just when the realignment of schools for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association seemed to be ironed out to most everyone's satisfaction, the final report from the realignment committee essentially put everything back into controversy.

For Wayne County's 3-A schools, they will get new conference neighbors, as they expected.

It just won't be the schools they expected.

The final draft of the realignment plan, which came out last week, puts Wayne County's 3-A schools -- Charles B. Aycock, Eastern Wayne and Southern Wayne -- into a conference with existing 3-A member Kinston and Wilson Schools Hunt and Beddingfield.

The previous draft had South Central and D.H. Conley moving into the Wayne County-Kinston group, but now these schools have been placed into a 3-A 4-A combination league with 4-A members Greenville Rose and New Bern and 3-A schools Washington, West Carteret, Washington, Havelock and West Craven. This grouping was extremely unpopular with coaches and administrators at the regional meeting in Greenville this past spring.

Beddingfield had been originally classified as a 2-A school, but was reclassified as a 3-A. The move intended to allow the three Wilson County schools to play in the same league, but that was thwarted when Wilson Fike was moved into a league with Southern Nash, Rocky Mount, Northern Nash, Nash Central and SouthWest Edgecombe.

The move will actually benefit the Wayne County schools because the distance is shorter to Wilson and Kinston than to Pitt County, where South Central and Conley are located. That will eliminate lost school time and long nights traveling by bus.

The 2-A ranks had few surprises. Goldsboro, which dropped to a 2-A classification, will play in a league comprised of current Eastern Plains members Greene Central, Tarboro, North Pitt and North Lenoir, and Farmville Central, which moved up from the Carolina 1-A Conference.

The 1-A classification did not change for the area's conferences. Both the Carolina 1-A -- with Rosewood, North Johnston, Princeton, Spring Creek, Ayden-Grifton and North Duplin -- and the Super Six 1-A -- with James Kenan, Wallace-Rose Hill, Midway, Hobbton Lakewood and Union -- will remain intact.

The new realignment plan will take effect for the 2005-2006 school year, and will remain in effect for five years.