According to draft realignment data released Thursday by the N.C. High School Athletic Association, the four member Wilkes County high schools are proposed to remain in a split 1A/2A conference.

The 2A schools in the proposed split 1A/2A “Conference 37” are North Wilkes, West Wilkes, Wilkes Central and Forbush. Forbush is currently a member of the Western Piedmont 2A Conference and the three Wilkes schools are in the Mountain Valley 1A/2A Athletic Conference.

The 1A high schools in Conference 37 are East Wilkes, Elkin, Alleghany and Starmount, the current 1A schools in the Mountain Valley.

The only current member of the Mountain Valley that is proposed to leave the conference is Ashe County High School, which was bumped up to 3A standing from 2A status after realignment data was released by the NCHSAA on Dec. 4.

Ashe County is proposed to join the split 3A/4A “Conference 52” along with 3A schools Freedom and Hibriten. Alexander Central, South Caldwell and Watauga high schools are the proposed 4A members of the conference. All of those schools except Hibriten are currently in the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference.

Schools may submit realignment concerns or suggestions to the NCHSAA through an online form by Jan. 8. The realignment committee will reconvene on Jan. 13 to review submissions from schools and make adjustments as appropriate to the first draft.

The second draft of conference alignments will be sent to the membership on Jan. 14. Once the second draft has been posted, schools may appeal in writing by Jan. 21. All appeals will be virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The realignment will go into effect on Aug. 1, 2021, and last through the 2024-25 school year.

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