That’s the good news for high school sports enthusiasts in the region.
Now, the bad news: The alignment proposal, which would begin with the 2019-20 academic year and be in effect for four school years, will keep mixed districts in terms of size discrepancies and different classification of schools competing for a district championship and will continue to allow schools from the same district to compete in separate regional tournaments.
Figuring out the VHSL’s district and regional playoff scenarios could leave one with the feeling of attempting to work a 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzle.
For those who have grown accustomed to the current Region 2D and Region 1D plans, there will not be much change.
Region 2D will not see any changes as far as the makeup of its teams and districts. Two districts will make up the region.
The Mountain 7 District will remain the same with Class 3 Abingdon and six Class 2 schools: John Battle, Gate City, Lee, Ridgeview, Union and Wise Central.
The Southwest District will have its same six Class 2 teams, Graham, Lebanon, Marion, Richlands, Tazewell and Virginia High.
Class 2 Grayson County will remain the wild card in the region’s postseasons.
Under the proposal, Grayson will continue to compete in the Mountain Empire District. However, once the postseason reaches the regional level, Grayson will compete in Region 2D, if it is eligible based on a points system.
Like last year, Grayson will compete for one of four playoff spots from the Southwest District. Beginning with the 2020-21 school year, Grayson will compete for one of four Mountain 7 regional playoff spots for two years before competing the next two years for one of the four regional postseason spots from the SWD.
Under the plan, Region 1D will remain exactly as it is with one exception.
The plan calls for former Hogoheegee District member Rural Retreat, which will compete for the second year this season as part of the Mountain Empire District, to rejoin the Hogoheegee. However, unlike the other four Hogo members, Rural Retreat would continue to compete in postseason regional play as a member of Region 1C.
The rest of the Hogoheegee — Chilhowie, Patrick Henry, Holston and Northwood — would continue as members of Region 1D.
The rest of Region 1D would be Cumberland District teams J.I. Burton, Castlewood, Eastside, Rye Cove, Twin Springs and Thomas Walker and Black Diamond District teams Council, Grundy, Honaker, Hurley and Twin Valley.
One thing most all Class 2 schools will be happy about under the plan is the moving from Class 2 to Class 3 for two spring sports powerhouses.
George Mason and Maggie Walker combined to win five of the eight state team championships on the Class 2 level this spring. Both are slated to move to Class 3 in 2019.
The Alignment Committee is scheduled to meet again July 25 to hear various requests from districts throughout the state and again on Aug. 21 to hear final appeals. The league’s executive committee is expected to give final approval to the plan in the fall.