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HCHS remains 3-A

AHOSKIE – Realignment numbers are in and Hertford County High School has a dilemma.

The HCHS athletic program remained numerically a 3-A school when Average Daily Membership (ADM) of 1,081. The problem for the Bears will be finding conference affiliation to benefit the school’s athletic status.

“Even though Bertie is going 2-A, what is best for us would be to become part of an all 3-A league,” HCHS Athletic Director Charles Simmons said. “With Currituck still out there, I don’t know if that is possible, but that is where we would prefer to be if it were.”

For the past two realignments, Hertford County has been part of a 2-A/3-A split conference which contained a trio of 3-A teams. Four years ago, Manteo dropped out of the 3-A ranks, but was replaced by Currituck County High School.

When realignment numbers came out last week, Bertie dropped from the 3-A ranks, but no new local teams went to 3-A. That would leave only two 3-A teams in the league if it remained a split conference.

“We’re very concerned about being in a split with only one other 3-A team,” Simmons said. “We know Washington High School is just as close to Currituck as we are, but that doesn’t seem to help us right now.”

Simmons said he would like to align with the schools from Nash County and R.L. Fike from Wilson County. There would appear to be an opening in that league since SouthWest Edgecombe will be dropping from the 3-A ranks to the 2-A division.

“I think the Nash County schools would be open to having us join them,” Simmons said. “With SouthWest dropping, it appears to leave an opening that would be a good fit for us.”

Simmons said participating in that league would allow Hertford County to have all of their travel time cut to less than two hours each for conference games.

He did admit it could provide problems with non-conference scheduling since the Bears play North Nash and Rocky Mount in football.

Simmons said one thing he was sure wouldn’t be affected by the change in status for Bertie was the rivalry between the Falcons and the Bears.

“I don’t see it affecting the rivalry itself,” Simmons said. “I think that is something that will always be there.

“If we were in different conferences, the only drawback would be that we wouldn’t play the last regular-season game of the year,” he added. “I think there’s something special about playing then and I think it’s something people in both counties look forward to.”

Hertford County will explore the possibility of being in an all 3-A league by dialoguing with all the interested parties.

Realignment is scheduled to take effect in 2009.