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Thursday, 14 January 2021 19:56

No changes for Richmond in NCHSAA's 2nd draft for realignment

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CHAPEL HILL — The North Carolina High School Athletic Association released its second draft for conference realignment on Thursday.

A process undergone every four years, no changes were made to the proposed conference Richmond Senior High School was originally projected to be in. The upcoming realignment grouping is set for the 2021 through the 2025 athletic and academic school years.

The NCHSAA made its first draft public on Dec. 10, and for the first time in the school’s 48-year history, Richmond was placed in a split conference. 

Historically a 4A athletic program based on its size, Richmond will still remain in that classification. However, Raider and Lady Raider student-athletes will compete in a 3A/4A split conference that has some familiar foes and fresh faces.

Both drafts had Richmond and current 4A Sandhills Athletic Conference opponents Hoke County and Pinecrest high schools paired together. 

Joining them will be rival Scotland High School, which has been downsized to the 3A classification. Several coaches at Richmond, including football coach Bryan Till, expressed their happiness with keeping the school’s longest tenured rival within the conference.

Rounding out the new proposed seven-team conference, which has yet to be officially named, are Lee County, Southern Lee and Union Pines high schools, all of which are 3A programs.

Leaving the SAC will be Jack Britt, Lumberton, Purnell Swett and Seventy-First high schools.

The NCHSAA is using a new combination of factors to determine which classification schools fall under, and the governing body also announced it was doing away with subdivisions starting next year.

Previously, the NCHSAA just used a school’s average daily membership number to classify teams, and Richmond’s current ADM is 2,109. New to deciding realignment were a school’s three-year average in the state cup points and its three-year average for identified student percentage.

The state cup points are used to determine a school’s overall athletic program success, and the ISP data looks at the number of students who receive some type of government assistance. 

“This draft represents a sacrifice of time by committee members to review and study all submitted suggestions and proposals,” said commissioner Que Tucker in an update to schools about the second draft. 

“While the draft does not satisfy all wishes and wants of each member school, it does represent an intentional effort by the committee to be fair and consistent in its decisions relative to any changes in conferences from the initial draft.”

Rob Ransom, Richmond’s second-year athletic director, said that the school did not file any appeals with the NCHSAA following the release of the first draft.

“Schools that are impacted or have changed from the first draft could formally appeal to the committee,” the NCHSAA said in an email Thursday. “The deadline for an appeal to conference placement in this second draft is Jan. 21 at 4 p.m.

“The virtual appeal dates are Jan. 27 for schools in the East, and Jan. 28 for schools in the West.”

Kyle Pillar

Three-time award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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