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Conference Realignment

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The Yorktown football field, where Friday night lights comes to life

The Yorktown football field, where Friday night lights comes to life

Alison Jones

Alison Jones

The Yorktown football field, where Friday night lights comes to life

Ryan Van Kirk, Sentry Staff Reporter

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Next year, all the sports teams will be in a new conference, which will be Conference 6A, District 2. The new six team conference will be composed of Herndon, Langley, McLean, South Lakes, Washington Lee and Yorktown. While this switch may seem important, many of the current opponents in the current 6A North conference will be in the new conference as well. Five of the eight current teams in the conference will be joining the same conference as next year. The teams that will be joining the same conference next year are Langley, Mclean, South Lakes, and Washington Lee. It would seem as though not much will change next year.

Currently, teams usually finish around the middle to top of the conference and have been improving these past few years. Athletic director Mike Chrufeld believes without much change to the new conference, the sports teams are likely to continue to improve.

“The switch will be transparent to most of the athletes,” Chrufeld said.

There might not be much change in the conference, but there are a few positives. One of the upsides of switching the conferences is that the “new conference is closer in proximity,” Chrufeld said. Which means that teams will travel shorter distances to away games.

Although the change is minimal, the players are ready for the new conference. Sophomore offensive lineman Nathan Strickland is “excited about joining the new conference.”

The new conference will only have six teams. The goal of the Virginia High School League (VHSL) when making the new conferences was to give teams a “slightly greater chance of winning conference championships,” Chrufeld said.

Having a chance to win more titles is enticing to many of the current sports players who are yet to win a title.

“I am looking forward to getting a chance to play and win in more conference championship games,” Strickland said.

The VHSL also took a few other characteristics into account. The conferences have been “formed based primarily on prior conferences with adjustments to location and natural rivalries that have formed,” Chrufeld said

Unfortunately, there are several issues with these new conferences.

“The conference will struggle to support itself financially because there are less teams,” Chrufeld said.

On top of financial issues, coaches will also have to schedule more out of conference games which “can be a burden for some teams,” Chrufeld said.

One of the main reasons why the switch was made was because the state was struggling to make money off of the conferences. After the conferences changed three years ago, the state began to lose revenue which is what has prompted this change.

“The switch was necessary on the state level,” Chrufeld said.

Overall, the switch is uninfluential and will not make a major impact on the sports teams. Those who play on sports teams will hardly be able to tell the switch has occurred.  

 

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Conference Realignment