The North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced the realignment numbers for the 2017-21 process on Monday. The goal is to align member schools into conferences of like sizes relative to average daily membership and close geographic proximity, with minimizing travel as a primary consideration.
South Stokes was the only local school to be reclassified from 2A to 1A.
“We knew we were going to be 1A because our numbers have been dropping over the last three or four years,” said athletic director Mitch Adams. “We had some larger classes back around 2010, but it’s gone down since then, and I think we’ll see it go down a little more.”
According to the NCHSAA, South has 570 students and will join North Stokes, with the enrollment of 386 in 1A. West Stokes remains in 2A with 932 students.
Adams has overseen the sports programs at South Stokes for the past six years and said they’ve had success in both 1A and 2A.
“From a competitive standpoint we’re better off 1A,” he said. “Ideally we’d like to be in a split conference with North Stokes, East Surry, Mount Airy, North Surry, Surry Central, West Stokes, and Forbush. From a financial standpoint, it’s a good thing because we already have rivalries there.”
Adams would prefer veering away from the Winston schools.
“There’s not the same connections,” he said.
The initial draft of conferences is expected to come out late December. Schools and athletic directors have until Jan. 8 to submit concerns or requests.
“We’ve been planning and knew we’d be going back. Now it’s just a waiting game to see who we’ll be with in the conference,” Adams said.
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.