September 10 - The Virginia High School League’s four-year alignment plan set to take effect next fall is expected to be passed by its Executive Committee after receiving 22 of 24 votes by the state public school governing body’s alignment advisory committee last month.
The new plan, which will run through the 2022-23 school year, will split the majority of Northern Virginia’s Class 6 schools into three regions, with the classification’s fourth region - Region 6A - comprised of seven schools from Hampton Roads, four from the Richmond area and Stafford’s Colonial Forge and Fredericksburg’s Massaponax and Riverbend.
Region 6B will be comprised of Prince William County schools and Champe, which has moved up from Class 5 this year and joined the Cedar Run District. Potomac, previously the lone Class 5 school in the Cardinal District, is also bumping up a classification. Region 6C will consist of the Gunston and Patriot districts in addition to Edison, Falls Church and Justice. Region 6D will include the schools from the Concorde and Liberty districts, sans Langley, which lost its appeal to not be dropped to Class 6. That region will also include Marshall and Wakefield.
Edison, Falls Church, Justice, Marshall and Wakefield will continue to compete in the National District, then qualify for regionals should they reach the semifinals of the district tournament. The National’s other two schools are Lee and Jefferson, which will join Langley as members of Region 5C. The remainder of that region will be comprised by five current schools from the Potomac District - Briar Woods, Broad Run, Freedom-South Riding, Potomac Falls and Stone Bridge - along with Riverside and Woodgrove, who will both move up from Class 4 and join the Potomac District for the 2019-20 school year.
The remaining four area Class 5 schools - Brooke Point, Mountain View, North Stafford and Stafford - will continue to compete alongside Colonial Forge, Massaponax and Riverside in the Commonwealth District before competing in Region 5D against Albemarle, William Fleming, Harrisonburg and Patrick Henry-Roanoke.
Schools from the Dulles and Northwestern districts will form Region 4C, while three area schools - Chancellor, Courtland and Spotsylvania - will continue to compete in the Battlefield District and will be slotted in Region 4B. Spotsylvania, the defending Class 3 state champions, will be moving up a class.
George Mason, which will be bumping up to Class 3 and joining the Northwestern District, will join Brentsville District and Manassas Park along with the Battlefield District’s James Monroe in Region 3B. Two new Loudoun County schools, Leesburg’s Independence and Aldie’s Lightridge, will join the Dulles District and initially compete in Region 3B before moving up and joining Region 4C. Independence will open next fall, and Lightridge in the fall of 2020.
Notes: George Mason’s move to Class 3 means there will be no Northern Virginia schools in the state’s lowest two classifications. … Langley’s appeal to remain in Region 6D was denied by a 3-20-1 vote. … An appeal by Colonial Forge, Massaponax and Riverbend to move to Region 6B was denied by a 6-18 margin. … Stafford County Schools had its appeal to have Brooke Point, Mountain View, North Stafford and Stafford moved to Region 5C was denied by a vote of 1-22-1.
Photo of Riverside coach Sam Plank by Joey Kamide