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The Virginian-Pilot(Norfolk, VA.)
Mike Connors, The Pilot

School Board member Tom Mercer voiced displeasure Monday night with recent alignment plans of the Virginia High School League, which oversees interscholastic sports in the state.

Mercer asked Superintendent James Roberts to present options for handling the changes.

For years, Virginia public schools competed in three groups based on enrollment. They were further divided up for scheduling purposes and postseason play.

Starting in 2013-14, the VHSL expanded to six groups for most sports. It placed some Chesapeake schools, which had been competing primarily in South Hampton Roads, in conferences with schools on the Peninsula.

The changes led to more athletes gaining state titles. But it also led to some missing more school time as they traveled farther. Longer trips added to travel costs for the division.

The VHSL intends to again adjust its alignment for 2015-16. Its initial plan would send 10 South Hampton Roads high schools, including Great Bridge, to new conferences or classifications.

"The VHSL is not in favor of supporting the Hampton Roads area," Mercer said.

The board also voted unanimously to keep Christie New Craig as chairwoman. Craig moved into that role last winter after Jay Leftwich won a House of Delegates seat.

Jeff Bunn was unanimously approved as vice chairman. Mercer said previously he wanted to let someone else take on the role he'd held.

July 8, 2014


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