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High School Notebook: Local athletic districts to shrink some

REALIGNMENT PLAN WILL RELOCATE

EASTERN VIEW, CULPEPER, ORANGE

BY TAFT COGHILL JR.

The Virginia High School League yesterday released its proposed realignment plan for the next two-year cycle.

The plan, which would take effect during the 2013–14 school year, has major changes for three Fredericksburg-area programs.

Eastern View and Culpeper will move to the Evergreen District under the proposed plan, which would leave six teams remaining in the Battlefield District.

Orange will leave the Group AAA Commonwealth District and head back to the Group AA Jefferson because of a dip in enrollment numbers.

Eastern View athletic director Mark Settle said the Culpeper County schools want to leave the Battlefield because of travel concerns in Region I, which features teams from the eastern part of Virginia.

He said joining the Region II Evergreen would put the Cyclones and Blue Devils at most an hour and a half away from nearly every regional opponent.

“We’re just exploring what’s going to be best for our school,” Settle said. “This is just in the preliminary stages.”

Settle said there are “eight or 10” more steps before the move will be complete. He said spring is the earliest anything will be finalized.

Settle added that the Battlefield “treated Eastern View with open arms,” but the Cyclones have more natural rivals in the Evergreen.

“When we play nondistrict games with Fauquier, Kettle Run and Liberty,” Settle said, “our gates are stronger than when we play Battlefield teams.”

JUNIOR VARSITY BLUES

There will be no reason to arrive a bit early to Courtland and Spotsylvania varsity girls basketball games this season.

The Cougars and Knights don’t have junior varsity teams because of low turnouts for tryouts.

Courtland has eight players on its varsity roster, coach J.T. Nino said.

The Knights have 12 players.

Nino said 11 players came out for his JV and varsity teams combined, but three dropped off because they wanted to play JV. Nino said in the past both teams have fielded squads with 10 to 12 players each.

Nino said he’s unsure of the cause of the low turnout, but believes it has more to do with athletes concentrating on one sport than it does the $100 athletic fee that Spotsylvania County public schools instituted last school year.

“I don’t know if pay-to-play has anything to do with it,” Nino said. “I think it’s the culture of specialization in sports. A lot of kids are focusing on one sport.”

NEW KNIGHT AT HELM

Leonard Carlson was an assistant coach for Spotsylvania’s boys basketball team last season.

But he took over head coaching duties after Claude Tyler recently resigned.

Tyler served as the Knights’ head coach for one season. Carlson is Spotsylvania’s fourth head coach in the past five years.

Carlson said the turnover is a bit troubling, so he hopes to bring some continuity to the program.

“I think that’s the worst part of this,” Carlson said. “The program is always in transition. Kids can’t connect to a program if there is no continuity.”

Carlson said Tyler will serve as a “consultant.” He’ll attend home games and also work with players at practice twice a week.

Carlson worked under Tyler for one season. He had a previous stop at Washington & Lee. The Knights (0–1) host Fluvanna tomorrow.

Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526

tcoghill@freelancestar.com

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