Cary News: Sports

Story of the Year: The fight against realignment

From the moment it was learned that the PAC-6 Conference would need at least one more team in the fall of 2013 to reach the NCHSAA minimum of six members, the story about how Panther Creek and Green Hope were going to fight realignment stayed in the headlines.

The two Cary schools were closest to the Durham-based conference, and although certain rivalries would be diminished, it was in the best interests of the NCHSAA that both schools make the move.

The schools had other plans.

Months of drama ended with the two staying within the comforts of the southwestern-Wake-based Tri-Nine Conference, but not before this story took turn after turn.

The town council passed a resolution. Parents flooded the NCHSAA with emails from an online petition.

There was talk of a compromise that would have created the NCHSAA’s first 14-team 4A conference.

Then there was a theory that someone’s numbers were wrong – and that theory was right.

At the final realignment meeting, the NCHSAA made the unprecedented move of granting Green Hope and Panther Creek’s procedural appeal after East Chapel Hill reported it should still be 4A in 2013, not dropping down to 3A.

The Catamounts and Falcons will stay in the Tri-Nine – which has one more year before becoming the Tri-Eight as Lee County will soon drop to 3A – at least until 2018.