Prep Notebook: New area NCHSAA conference affiliations
The dust has settled, the appeals decided and, looking ahead, the number of N.C. High School Association conferences featuring area teams has grown from four to six for 2013-14.
Key changes affecting area schools include the departure of Southern High School from the PAC-6 4-A to the new Big Eight 3-A which includes former Carolina 6 3-A members Chapel Hill, Orange, Oxford Webb, Cardinal Gibbons and Northern Vance as well as former Carolina 12 1-A/2-A members Cedar Ridge and Northwood, reclassified as 3-A programs.
The PAC-6 itself was originally set to remain with seven programs, as it had last year, losing East Chapel Hill and Southern to the 3-A ranks, but picking up a couple of Cary-area 4-A programs this fall. But East Chapel Hill won an appeal to remain a 4-A program and Cary Green Hope and Cary Panther Creek appealed to remain linked to Wake County-centric conferences and also won.
In the end, the PAC-6 lost Southern but retained Hillside, ECH, Jordan, Person, Riverside and Northern. The dip to six teams from seven will cost the conference one of its previous four football playoff slots.
The oddly configured Carolina 12 1-A/2-A Conference, which featured a half-dozen football playing 2-A programs and another half-dozen non-football playing 1-A programs, is no more. Its members have dispersed into a total of four conferences — two 2-A leagues and two 1-A leagues. One of only two football playing 1-A programs in the area — Kestrel Heights, a charter school — has quit its independent status to join a non-football playing affiliation of 1-A charter schools, the North-Central 1-A Athletic Conference.
Since the NCAC doesn’t feature any other football playing schools, Kestrel Heights will not qualify for state football playoff participation. The Hawks’ administration had to agree to that in order to join the NCAC.
Other NCAC members are Chapel Hill’s Woods Charter and former C-12 members Durham’s Voyager Academy, Roxboro Community School, Saxapahaw River Mill Academy and Raleigh Charter School.
Granville Central was reclassified from the larger enrollment 2-A to the smaller 1-A classification and joined a football playing conference in the Tar-Roanoke 1-A Athletic Conference.
The Stem-based program will get a chance to see the world — or at least a lot of North Carolina — as it travels to meet fellow conference members Gaston KIPP Pride, Louisburg, Littleton Northwest Halifax, Halifax Southeast Halifax and Weldon.
Another area program that rose in classification — from 1-A to 2-A — was non-football school N.C. Science and Math. The Unicorns will join fellow Bull City non-football school Durham School of the Arts in the new Northern Carolina 2-A Conference.
South Granville does play football and the Creedmoor program will compete in that sport with fellow NCC 2-A opponents Bunn, Franklington, Roanoake Rapids, Henderson Southern Vance and Warrenton Warren County.
Like fellow Granville County program Central Granville, the Vikings will be putting a lot of mileage on the team bus.
But when it comes to wearing out the tires, Carrboro will be right there with the best of them. The Jaguars, who finished second in the state in football last fall, remain in the 2-A ranks but join the Mid-State Conference where their opponents will include Yanceyville Barlett Yancey, Burlington Cummings, Graham, Siler City Jordan-Matthews and Reidsville, a traditional state 2-A football power.
2013-14 AREA CONFERENCE PUBLIC SCHOOL AFFILIATIONS
East Chapel Hill
Big Eight 3-A Conference
Cedar Ridge (Hillsborough)
Oxford Webb (Oxford)
Cardinal Gibbons (Raleigh)
Northern Vance (Henderson)
Northern Carolina 2-A Conference
Durham School of the Arts
N.C. Science & Math (Durham)
South Granville (Creedmoor)
Southern Vance (Henderson)
Warren County (Warrenton)
Mid-State 2-A Conference
Jordan-Matthews (Siler City)
North Central 1-A Athletic Conference
Woods Charter (Chapel Hill)
Voyager Academy (Durham)
Kestrel Heights (Durham)
River Mill Academy (Saxapahaw)
Tar-Roanoke 1-A Athletic Conference
Granville Central (Stem)
KIPP Pride (Gaston)
Northwest Halifax (Littleton)
Southeast Halifax (Halifax)