12/02/11 — Goldsboro moves up

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Goldsboro moves up

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on December 2, 2011 1:48 PM

Good-bye, Carolina Conference.

Goldsboro High is moving on up.

The Cougars are leaving the Class 1-A ranks upon completion of the 2012-13 sports season, and joining a 2-A league that includes Lenoir, Pitt and Greene County schools -- for now.

This is the first realignment draft that was released by the N.C. High School Athletic Association on Wednesday. Schools were clustered as tightly geographical as possible in an effort to help avoid combination conferences.

The computer-generated model, done by SAS in Cary, placed Goldsboro into a seven-team league along with Ayden-Grifton, Greene Central, Kinston, Midway, North Lenoir and South Lenoir. Including its Wayne School of Engineering enrollment, Goldsboro has the third-highest student population (869) behind North Lenoir (989) and Kinston (893) in the proposed conference.

"I realize it may change, but I do think the NCHSAA has looked at what teams have been negatively affected by travel the past few years and made proper adjustments," said Patrick Reynell, co-athletics director at Goldsboro High. "(The alignment) is understandable in these economic times. It stretches us a little more than what we're traveling now, but the only ideal traveling situation for us would be in a conference with Aycock, Eastern Wayne and Southern Wayne.

"Obviously, that is not going to happen."

Reynell anticipates scheduling issues.

This past year, the Association eliminated one week of regular-season play on the football calendar. Most schools constructed a 10-game schedule to keep the off week open and use as a rain date, if necessary.

As part of a seven-team league, the Cougars are required to fill the non-conference portion of their schedule with their county foes, which leaves very little wiggle room. The games create considerable revenue during football and basketball season.

"That limits our football schedule pretty much and we'd had to have dates that line up," said Reynell. "Though it works for other schools, it could actually cause a problem with us."

Neuse Charter, a private school in Smithfield, is projected to take Goldsboro's place in the Carolina Conference. Neuse's athletics program fields five varsity sports, but does not offer football.

That will force the remaining schools to find an extra non-conference game if Neuse remains part of the new conference structure.

"We'll definitely miss the camaraderie in this conference," said Reynell. "The conference has treated us wonderfully these past 2 1/2 years. The ADs communicate well and we really do support one another in the education of our kids and teaching sportsmanship in all sports."