Birth of Conference 43 Part I: District welcomes Region B Panthers
Student athletes from the Northern Neck District will welcome the Rappahannock County Panthers to competition next year as the Virginia High School League’s Executive Committee voted to increase the three-classification system to six.
Northern Neck Teams will not only remain in the same competition of play for the next two seasons following the recent re-alignment plan approval, but they will welcome another high school to the mix. Considered to be a winner in the approval, officials from Rappahannock County High School are excited about competing with teams from the local area.
In early December, the Virginia High School League’s Executive Committee approved the final conference alignment plan for the next two school years changing it from its current three classifications (A, AA, AAA) to six. These changes are expected to improve competitions for all of its respective schools in all sports.
Two years ago, VHSL took action to increase its competition level by implementing a new football playoff system.
Based on student enrollment numbers, or last March’s Annual Daily Membership calculations from the Virginia Department of Education, schools will be matched with similar sized ones. In the case involving high schools in the Northern Neck, Essex with 467 students and Washington & Lee with 473 students, will be moved from Division 2 to Division 1. They will join the remaining schools such as Rappahannock (342), Colonial Beach (175), Lancaster (379) and Northumberland (438) in Division 1.
The six high schools, like many around the Commonwealth, will be able to continue with their respective districts, but they will also be formed into conferences. In this case, the Northern Neck District Teams will form six of the seven teams in Conference 43.
The seventh high school will be Region B and Bull Run District’s Rappahannock County High School.