High School Football

What new plan means for how realignment will be figured out for SC high schools

Brookland-Cayce’s Rusty Charpia discusses realignment appeal

Brookland-Cayce football coach and athletic director Rusty Charpia says his school will appeal to move from Class 3A to 4A in 2018-20 realignment proposal.
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Brookland-Cayce football coach and athletic director Rusty Charpia says his school will appeal to move from Class 3A to 4A in 2018-20 realignment proposal.

A different method will be used to figure out South Carolina High School League realignment for 2020-2022, and it could make schools wait a little longer for coming up with schedules for 2020.

Two amendments regarding realignment were passed Wednesday on the final day of the SC Athletic Administrators Association conference in Charleston.

Under one revised amendment the reclassification process will use the first 45-day enrollment numbers from each school the fall semester the academic year before realignment takes effect. The enrollment number also will be just for grades 9 through 11 instead of 9 through 12 used in past realignments. The realignment period remains every two years.

In previous years, it was based on the first 135-day enrollment numbers from each school spring semester of the odd-numbered years. But, according to the amendment, the 45-day number will more accurately reflect a school growth closer to the actual realignment.

The new amendment means schools won’t be able to get started with their schedules, especially for football, until later. Region and class placements won’t be done until November or early December instead of this summer or early fall. Appeals will likely be heard in January, so it would be final around late January or February of 2020.

In somewhat of a surprising move, it was approved that the S.C. High School League again will handle region and classification placement for the realignment. Some coaches and administrators didn’t like some of the way the 2018-20 realignment was handled and it led to a record number of appeals and an eventual lawsuit.

Five school districts — Spartanburg Districts 1, 2 and 4, Laurens District 56 and Greenwood District 50 — filed suit against the SCHSL and Union County Schools.

In addition to realignment news, two amendments were passed regarding how at-large positions to SCHSL executive committee are determined. The first amendment guarantees three of the five at-large members of the SCHSL executive committee must be part of SC Association of School Administrators. The second amendment guarantees least one-third of the delegates in each classification must be superintendents or superintendent’s designee to include assistant superintendent or district athletic director. The rationale is superintendents guarantee more of a say in the decisions. These proposals were voted down last year.

Another amendment passed allows for rising seventh graders to practice with middle school teams in the spring. This goes into effect beginning next month.

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