Midtown: Sports

NCHSAA denies schools’ appeal of realignment

The realignment committee of the N.C. High School Athletic Association is recommending Green Hope and Panther Creek join five Durham area high schools in an athletic conference beginning in 2013 after denying the schools’ appeal today.

The two Wake County schools appealed Thursday to the committee on Thursday after the schools had been placed in a league with Roxboro Person and Durham’s Hillside, Northern, Riverside and Jordan.

The realignment committee heard 26 appeals from 29 schools on Thursday and made several changes to the plan, including moving Harnett Central to the Greater Neuse 4A, a move requested by the league and the school.

But the committee did not endorse any of the proposals made by Green Hope and Panther Creek.

The realignment committee, which is largely made up of superintendents and principals, will present its recommended conferences to the NCHSAA Board of Directors in May. The board may accept the plan, reject it or amend it.

“The committee spent a great deal of time discussing the Panther Creek and Green Hope proposals,” said Davis Whitfield, the NCHSAA commissioner. “But there was no consensus among the schools.”

Whitfield said a proposal by the two schools to create a mega-conference with 13 schools was discussed and had appeal, but ultimately wasn’t embraced because the big league was not supported by two of the three systems involved – Person County and Durham County.

A lack of support also was a factor in Western Harnett not being moved from its proposed alignment with schools in Johnston County to a league in the Fayetteville area.

Durham Kestral Heights was moved to a league comprised primarily of charter schools.

Representatives from Kestral Heights, which plays football, told the committee it was not opposed to playing in a non-football league.

The bulk of the appeals on Thursday were from schools that are west of Durham and the committee made several changes to the proposed leagues.