The South Carolina High School League executive committee denied four Midlands schools appeals regarding the proposed realignment for the 2018-20 school year.
The SCHSL executive committee voted against Lugoff-Elgin, Blythewood, Spring Valley and Brookland-Cayce on Wednesday during the first day of appeal hearings.
L-E was trying to move from Region 4-5A to Region 3-4A, while Blythewood and Spring Valley were looking to go from Region 3-5A to Region 4-5A. Brookland-Cayce wanted to go from Region 5-4A to Region 5-3A.
“I knew what the history of appeals was,” Lugoff-Elgin athletics director and football coach Matt Campbell said. “So you try to put together the best plan you can and hope for the best.”
The schools have 24 hours to decide to make a second appeal to the SCHSL appellate panel. Brookland-Cayce athletics director Rusty Charpia said his school plans to appeal, and Lugoff-Elgin plans a second appeal.
During Campbell’s presentation, he pointed out the travel costs, which will double going to the new region, plus the disparity from L-E’s enrollment to other schools in Class 5A. L-E would be one of the smallest schools in 5A and largest if it moved to Class 4A.
Blythewood athletics director Barry Mizzell and Spring Valley athletics director Tim Hunter also pointed out the travel concerns and lost instruction time. Hunter said Spring Valley’s travel cost would increase by more than $60,000.
One factor that hurt their cases was when Sumter won its appeal, 11-2, to move from Region 5-5A to Region 4-5A, the same region Spring Valley and Blythewood wanted to be in during the next realignment. The Gamecocks will be in the region with Chapin, Dutch Fork, Irmo, Lexington, Lugoff-Elgin, River Bluff and White Knoll.
Blythewood and Spring Valley were in the region with most of those schools during the last realignment. If they won their appeal, that would have shifted the amount of teams to 25 in lower state and 23 in upper state. Under the proposal, there are 24 teams in upper and lower state in 5A.
Brookland-Cayce also was arguing the travel and disparity of school size with other teams in the region. B-C is the smallest school in the region with 1,029 students. North Augusta is the biggest with 1,501 while Aiken, South Aiken and Midland Valley each have more then 1,400 students.
Twenty-seven schools are appealing realignment. C.A. Johnson is set for its appeal Thursday.
In another appeals heard Wednesday:
▪ Brookland-Cayce won 10-5 for its appeal for transfer of student-athlete Jamir Robinson.
▪ Greenwood’s appeal of changing the number of teams in each class was voted down, 13-0. Greenwood officials and others wanted to have 42 schools in 5A, 43 in 4A and 44 in Class A-3A.
▪ Carolina High School and Academy, Colleton County, York, Union County, Chapman and Berea had appeals denied. Carolina’s appeal was to have realignment postponed for two more years.