Draughn headed to 1A, Foard back up to 3A, Alex Central will be 4A
By CHRIS HOBBS
CHAPEL HILL – Eight high schools currently in Greater Hickory area conferences will change classifications in the next statewide realignment.
East Lincoln, Lake Norman Charter and North Lincoln from the South Fork 2A will go 3A.
Draughn will drop to 1A while Fred T. Foard and West Iredell will move up to 3A from the Northwestern Foothills 2A.
In the Northwestern 3A-4A, Alexander Central and Watauga will move from 3A to 4A.
Additionally, Lincoln Charter – now in the Southern Piedmont 1A – will move up to 2A.
These determinations were announced Friday by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) as it begins work on realignment for the 2021-2025 school years.
There will be four classifications with 25 percent of schools in each classification.
The first draft of proposed conferences will be done by NCHSAA staff and be released on Thursday.
The NCHSAA has devised a new format for realignment, using a formula to determine each school’s realignment total. Included are the traditional average daily memberships (ADMs) plus a school’s State Cup points and ISP (a percentage of students receiving government assistance) averages over the past three years.
It’s the first time the NCHSAA, which realigns every four years, has used a more data-intense method.
When the data is compared, it will be East schools to East schools and West schools to West schools rather than statewide.
Whether a school will be assigned to a conference in the East or West is determined by where the county is (there is a map with a predetermined line separating halves of the state).
For example, East Lincoln has an ADM of 977 with State Cup points at 140 in 2017-2018, 267 ½ in 2018-2019 and 115 thus far in this school year. The school’s last two ISP’s are 13.09 percent and 12.59 percent. Those totals will be combined to provide the Mustangs’ realignment point total.
The goal is to better place schools in conferences that are similar in respects other than just enrollment.
Here’s a breakdown of the current status for area conferences:
SOUTH FORK 2A
— Bandys, Lincolnton, Maiden, Newton-Conover and West Lincoln will be West schools and in class 2A with league(s) to be determined.
— East Lincoln, Lake Norman Charter and North Lincoln will be West schools and in class 3A with league(s) to be determined.
NORTHWESTERN FOOTHILLS 2A
— Bunker Hill, East Burke, Patton and West Caldwell will be West schools and in class 2A with league(s) to be determined.
— Draughn will be a West school and drop to class 1A in a league to be determined.
— Fred T. Foard, Hibriten and West Iredell will be West schools and move up to 3A with a league(s) to be determined.
— Freedom, Hickory and St. Stephens will be West schools in 3A with league(s) to be determined.
— Alexander Central, McDowell, South Caldwell and Watauga will be West schools in 4A league(s) to be determined, with Alexander Central and Watauga moving from 3A to 4A.