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PD ADs happy appeal rejected
VHSL's R&R Committee votes not to boot Franklin County from River Ridge
Sunday, August 12, 2012
By DAVID REYNOLDS - Bulletin Sports Editor
The Virginia High School League’s Redistricting and Reclassification Committee (R&R) rejected an appeal Wednesday from the River Ridge district to kick Franklin County out of their proposed district in the 2013-14 academic year.
According to Martinsville athletic director Tommy Golding, if the appeal had been upheld, the Piedmont District would have been a likely destination for the Eagles — a school that according to VHSL figures has an enrollment of nearly 2,200 students.
The appeal, which Golding said was made by both Pulaski County and Carroll County, was in reference to a VHSL proposal to expand the current three athletic classifications to six.
Franklin County will be in Division 6 of the newly proposed classification system.
“It turned out very good and the way it should have turned out,” Golding said. “We felt like, ‘why should the Piedmont be the only district in the state that goes from a Classification 2 to Classification 6?’ I mean, we would be the only one in the state that has that many classifications.
“And the whole purpose of this whole thing is to get more equitable play but keep some of the districts intact, and bringing Franklin County into us, that’s 2,300 kids to 600 kids. How equitable is that?”
Under the proposed change in classifications, Martinsville would compete in 2A, Magna Vista Patrick County and Tunstall would move to 3A, and Bassett would play in 4A. G.W.-Danville and Halifax County High Schools, which are joining the Piedmont District in conjunction with the new classification system, would compete in 4A and 5A, respectively.
Golding attended the R&R meeting in Charlottesville with Magna Vista athletic director Mike Minter.
Both Golding and Minter said the PD’s current athletic directors are happy with the additions of G.W.-Danville and Halifax County, but that the district would rather add a school more in line with their current schools’ enrollments like Carroll County than Franklin County.
“The Piedmont District is satisfied with the schools we have in the Piedmont District,” Minter said. “We all seven have a great working relationship, and we want to keep that the way it is.”
The R&R Committee’s ruling is not final, as there is still another round of appeals to sort out before the redistricting proposal goes before VHSL’s membership schools in October.
Minter said the next deadline for appeals to the R&R Committee is September 11, and he added that he and the other Piedmont District athletic directors expect the River Ridge schools to file another appeal.
After the R&R Committee makes its final decision on those appeals, the proposal then must be passed by the VHSL Board of Directors before being voted on by VHSL schools in October.
“If it passes in October, it’s a done deal,” Minter said. “It looks like we are headed that way though. It looks promising, it seems.”
But while there is another round of appeals that may send Franklin County to the Piedmont District, Golding said he is confident the R&R Committee’s decision Wednesday won’t be overturned.
“I’m sure that it will be appealed again, but I felt like it won’t change because we spoke to a lot of the representatives after the meeting,” Golding said.
Of course, if the VHSL members schools do not pass the new classification proposal, none of these appeals will matter. The current classification system will remain, and for the most part, districts will look the same.
Golding said G.W.-Danville is coming to the Piedmont District no matter what the vote is, though he added the preliminary voting seems to suggest it will not have too much trouble passing.
“The preliminary vote that was taken showed that it would pass pretty easy, but I thought it would be a landslide and it wasn’t,” Golding said. “Some of the AAA folks are still having some doubts about doing it.”