The second draft of the N.C. High School Athletic Association's plan for the 2021-2024 realignment period could make life easier for some Triad schools, but much more difficult for others.
Perennial Class 2-A state football championship contender Reidsville, which found itself in a conference with only five football-playing members in the first draft of realignment, is in a seven-team conference in the second draft. The Rams are in a league with only five football-playing schools during the current four-year alignment period that ends in June and have struggled to find enough non-conference games.
"That (second draft) makes a whole lot more sense than the other one did," said Jimmy Teague, Reidsville's longtime football coach. "We were looking for six non-conference games and on top of that there was all the extra travel we'd be doing (to play those games). For us, this is a better fit."
The Rams' conference in the first draft was a split 2-A/1-A league that also included Andrews (2-A), Bethany Community (1-A), Bishop McGuinness (1-A), Cornerstone Charter (1-A), McMichael (2-A) and Morehead (2-A). Bethany Community and Cornerstone Charter do not field football teams.
In the second draft, Reidsville is in a Class 2-A league with Andrews, McMichael, Morehead, North Forsyth, Walkertown and West Stokes.
As much as the second draft helped the Rams, it hurt Bishop McGuinness, Carver and Winston-Salem Prep. Those three schools find themselves in a conference with Bethany Community, Cornerstone Charter and N.C. Leadership Academy. That's fine for some sports, but would leave them looking for seven non-conference football games.
Jeff Stoller, Bishop's athletics director, wrote in an email that "the NCHSAA is in discussions about the possibility of a separate conference for football and I have had discussions with them today, but it is still being determined as to whether that can be worked out or not."
Carver and Winston-Salem Prep officials did not respond to emails seeking comment on their schools' situations.
Teague said he would welcome Bishop, Carver and Prep in Reidsville's conference to make it a split 2-A/1-A league in football.
"Put 10 people in our league," the coach said with a laugh. "What's wrong with that?"
The conferences for the Triad's Class 4-A and Class 3-A schools were unchanged in the second draft of realignment. The only other significant changes involved grouping schools in the western portion of the Triad into Class 2-A or 1-A leagues instead of split 2-A/1-A conferences.
Schools can appeal their assignment in this draft of realignment until Jan. 21 before the next draft is sent to member schools Feb. 4. The deadline for final appeals to the NCHSAA's Realignment Committee is Feb. 10.
Here's what the conferences for area schools look like in the latest draft (conference names will come later in the process):
Conference 37 (2-A)
New version (Seven schools): East Surry, Forbush, North Surry, North Wilkes, Surry Central, West Wilkes, Wilkes Central. First-draft version (eight schools 2-A/1-A): Alleghany (1-A), East Wilkes (1-A), Elkin (1-A), Forbush (2-A), North Wilkes (2-A), Starmount (1-A), West Wilkes (2-A), Wilkes Central (2-A).
Conference 36 (1-A)
New version (eight schools): Alleghany, East Wilkes, Elkin, Millennium Charter, Mount Airy, North Stokes, South Stokes, Starmount. First-draft version (seven schools 2-A/1-A): East Surry (2-A), Millennium Charter (1-A), Mount Airy (1-A), North Stokes (1-A), North Surry (2-A), South Stokes (1-A), Surry Central (2-A).
Conference 34 (2-A)
New version (seven schools): Andrews, McMichael, Morehead, North Forsyth, Reidsville, Walkertown, West Stokes. First-draft version (six schools 2-A/1-A): Carver (1-A), N.C. Leadership Academy (1-A), North Forsyth (2-A), Walkertown (2-A), West Stokes (2-A), Winston-Salem Prep (1-A).
Conference 32 (1-A)
New version (six schools): Bethany Community, Bishop McGuinness, Carver, Cornerstone Charter, N.C. Leadership Academy, Winston-Salem Prep. First-draft version (seven schools 2-A/1-A): Andrews (2-A), Bethany Community (1-A), Bishop McGuinness (1-A), Cornerstone Charter (1-A), McMichael (2-A), Morehead (2-A), Reidsville (2-A).
Conference 56 (4-A)
Eight schools: Davie County, East Forsyth, Glenn, Mount Tabor, Parkland, Reagan, Reynolds, West Forsyth.
Conference 55 (4-A)
Eight schools: Grimsley, Northern Guilford, Northwest Guilford, Page, Ragsdale, Southeast Guilford, Southwest Guilford, Western Guilford.
Conference 47 (3-A)
Six schools: Asheboro, Central Davidson, Ledford, Montgomery Central, North Davidson, Oak Grove.
Conference 46 (3-A)
Eight schools: Atkins, Dudley, Eastern Guilford, High Point Central, Northeast Guilford, Rockingham County, Smith, Southern Guilford.
Conference 33 (2-A/1-A)
Seven schools: East Davidson (2-A), Lexington (2-A), North Rowan (1-A), Salisbury (2-A), South Davidson (1-A), Thomasville (1-A), West Davidson (2-A).
Conference 31 (2-A/1-A)