Originally created 01/12/00

S.C. prep realignment vote is scheduled today



COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The Lowcountry's 12-school region in Class AAAA -- the state's largest -- should come to an end today when the four classifications of the South Carolina High School League present their realignment proposals.

During the last realignment two years ago, the elevation of three Class AAA schools created a region that stretched from Charleston to South Carolina's Southern tip.

But High School League executive director Ronnie Matthews says the schools in the region agreed to split into two more manageable regions.

Stratford, this past season's Big 16 state football champ, should join Goose Creek, North Charleston, Wando, James Island and West Ashley, the consolidated school of Middleton and St. Andrews, in one proposed region.

Summerville would head up the other Lowcountry region in Class AAAA with Hilton Head, Battery Creek, Beaufort, Fort Dorchester and Walterboro.

Other changes in Class AAAA appear to be less severe. Irmo and Dutch Fork will join a region with other Columbia-area schools, leaving the region that included North Augusta, Aiken, South Aiken and Lexington.

All proposals will be voted on today. Schools have a week to appeal the brackets, which would take effect during the 2000-2001 academic year.

The next state realignment would come in January 2002.

The leading proposal for Class AAA would have it expanded from six regions to eight. Class AA will most likely remain fairly stable with eight regions. Class A will move from eight to seven regions.