Thursday, December 8, 2011

Is this how Mecklenburg County schools should be placed into conferences?

Last week, the N.C. High School Athletic Association released a draft of how its 300-plus high schools will be placed into new conferences beginning in the fall of 2013. The draft was done by a computer using geography and school size as primary criteria.

It caused a lot of controversy locally and statewide.

You can click here to see the draft

On Friday (Dec. 9), the NCHSAA will release a second draft, this one done by human beings. It figures to have some differences. The first draft didn't include split conferences, which caused some travel issues. It's likely this one will.

Below are the original Mecklenburg County groupings from the first draft:

Mecklenburg County Conference 1 (the old Southwestern 4A): Ardrey Kell, Butler, Charlotte Catholic, Myers Park, Olympic, Porter Ridge, Providence, South Mecklenburg.

Mecklenburg County Conference 2 (the old I-MECK 4A):
A.L. Brown, Hopewell, Hough, Mallard Creek, Mooresville, North Meck, Robinson, Vance

Mecklenburg County Conference 3 (the old MEGA 7): Berry, East Meck, Garinger, Harding, Independence, Rocky River, West Charlotte, West Mecklenburg

I don't think it's too bad. I liked having Brown and Porter Ridge come into CMS leagues. But I heard from many people, especially folks at Independence, who felt it would create travel hardships to play in Conference 3.

At the recent state football championships, I got a chance to sit down with Rocky River assistant football coach Jeff Simpson, who has worked at Vance and West Charlotte, so he's covered a lot of geographic territory locally. I asked him to give me his conference proposals.

He took about 30 minutes, using his cell phone's GPS and created these based on geography.

Conference 1: Olympic, West Meck, Hopewell, Berry, Harding, West Charlotte, North Meck, Hough
Conference 2: Providence, Vance, Myers Park, South Meck, Catholic, Ardrey Kell, Mallard Creek, Mooresville
Conference 3: Porter Ridge, Robinson, Rocky River, Independence, East Meck, Garinger, A.L. Brown, Butler

I gave it some thought, too.

I remember in the old days of 10 CMS schools when no one gave it much thought to drive from North Meck to Independence.

Just was what it was.

And if we fix basketball and move girls and boys to separate sites -- something that MUST BE DONE -- at least during the week, I wouldn't think travel would be an issue at all.

Think about some schools outside Meck who travel ungodly distances every day. CMS is lucky to have so many 4A schools within its borders.

All that said, I think it's important to make sure we don't have one league where all the schools who don't produce Olympic sports regularly are clustered with a few that do. I think you also want to keep as many natural conference rivalries as possible.

So here's my take, assuming Brown, Robinson and Porter Ridge aren't included in a split division of Union-Cabarrus schools:

Mecklenburg County Conference 1 (the old Southwestern 4A): Ardrey Kell, Butler, East Mecklenburg, Garinger, Independence, Porter Ridge, Providence, Rocky River

Mecklenburg County Conference 2 (the old I-MECK 4A):
A.L. Brown, Hopewell, Hough, Lake Norman, Mallard Creek, Mooresville, North Meck, Robinson, Vance

Mecklenburg County Conference 3 (the old MEGA 7): Berry, Charlotte Catholic, Harding, Myers Park, Olympic, South Meck, West Charlotte, West Mecklenburg


Anonymous said...

It makes more sense to put Brown in your conf 2. It is much closer to those schools.

Anonymous said...

Why not leave Union Co. teams in Union Co. and Meck Co. teams in Meck and Cabarrus Co. teams in Cabarrus Co?

Anonymous said...

Seems like to Al Brown travel to AK makes as much sense as it did last year to send Berry Academy to N. Stanly/W. Stanly

Anonymous said...

PR is right on the line between 3A and 4A, so its possible they could drop down if enrollment drops about 15 students or if any 3A school's enrollment increases. The problem with putting PR in one of the Mecklenburg conferences is that Char-Meck has big 4AA schools and PR is barely 4AA. PR would be competitive in football but would be crushed in other sports (and as much as I love football, other sports count too). The best thing for PR would be a competitive 3A conference with large 3A schools like Catholic, AL Brown, and Sun Valley.

Observer Sports said...

For the next realignment, Brown, Robinson and Porter Ridge were classified as 4A schools. They could maybe form a split conference with some 3A Union Schools, but that would create travel concerns for Brown I think.

It'll be interesting to see what the state comes up with but the guess here is that PR and Brown will find their way to Charlotte. Somehow.

49RFBN said...

I gave up when they made this A and AA for each of the 4 classes. If the state needs a 5A or even a 6A then do it, but when I played I would have been ashamed to make the playoffs with a losing record, and that's what we have now.

Anonymous said...

The class assignments aren't final yet, especially since UCPS is supposed to do a major reassignment plan that would most likely go into place the same year as the NCHSAA realignment. PR is severely overcrowded and Cuthbertson is well under capacity, so the Western ends of PR, SV, and Weddington are essentially expected to move one district over to balance the crowds. Granted, UCPS is unreliable on these things, but this was the long term plan after the Piedmont reassignment 2 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Ether of those options is workable. Rational forethought in putting that together. The computer model from the state last week was a joke.

Anonymous said...

I was one of the critics of the first draft a couple of weeks ago. Both your new suggestions look MUCH better than what the computer originally spit out. Hopefully NCHSAA will take note.

Anonymous said...

I sure hope the NCSHAA didn't pay SAS a bunch of money for that original list. That was garbage.

Anonymous said...

The "Staff" plan just dropped and it looks the same as the original computer model for the CMS schools. STUPID!!!

Anonymous said...

Could someone send either of these two to the state? CMS should not let Indy move to a westside conference. Indy is in between Butler and Porter Ridge but has been gerrymandered to move to a league 20 miles away. CMS, the ball is in your court.

Anonymous said...

why not cox mil.its closer than Robinson and fits in geographically