VHSL hopeful with realignment direction

Published 9:35 pm Friday, August 11, 2017

The Virginia High School League recently approved a reorganization plan that eliminates conferences.

The change means King’s Fork, Nansemond River and Lakeland high schools could see each other multiple times next season. The Suffolk school rivalries never diminished even after the VHSL split the teams into different conferences. King’s Fork was part of Conference 17, while Nansemond River and Lakeland were part of Conferences 10 and 27, respectively.

All three Suffolk public schools are a part of the Southeastern District. However, with the previous rules, each team played all district teams once and then played conference games. The conference games were for schools that were in the same classification. For instance, Nansemond River is a 5A classification, and Warrior teams competed against other 5A squads in conference, region and state play.

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Now, conferences have been eliminated, and district schedules will be restored. Each Suffolk school could play each other twice, as it used to be just a few years ago. Each school will keep its classification. King’s Fork will be under Class 4, Lakeland under Class 3 and Nansemond River under Class 5.

The state has also been divided into four regions. The Suffolk schools will be in region A.

Conferences and conference tournaments will be eliminated. The ultimate goal is still to have teams compete within their classifications in the best way possible.

For example, since Lakeland is a Class 3 school, that makes them the smallest school in the Southeastern District. The rules make it less likely for them to match up against bigger schools in postseason play, but they will still face bigger schools during the regular season.