WEST JEFFERSON — The rumors and grumblings of Ashe County moving from 2A to 3A turned out to be just rumors according to the recent reclassification update from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.
In fact, the recent enrollment data release shows Ashe is no longer the largest school in the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference.
The NCHSAA went with what they called the “20-30-30-20” plan which places 20-percent of the schools in the state in 1A, 30-percent in 2A, 30-percent in 3A and 20-percent in 4A.
Ashe County, as well as the rest of the teams in the MVAC, will remain in the same classifications.
Wilkes Central’s enrollment number of 976 is the most in the conference, followed by Ashe at 959, West Wilkes at 783 and North Wilkes at 754. All of those four teams will remain in the 2A class.
Starmount barely made the cut to remain in 1A with an enrollment number of 637, third most of all 1A teams in the state.
East Wilkes (561), Alleghany (465) and Elkin (393) round out the rest of the 1A teams in the MVAC.
Some area teams however will either move up or drop down a classification.
West Caldwell, the team that knocked Ashe County out of the football playoffs last week, will be moving up to 3A. Watauga will be dropping from 4A to 3A and Hibriten will be dropping from 3A to 2A for the first time since 2003 when they were members of the MVAC.
While it is unlikely the MVAC 1A/2A will see any significant changes with all eight teams remaining in the same two classes, it is not a guarantee. Conference realignment plans are underway at the NCHSAA and will be released at some point in December.
All of these changes will take place beginning with the 2017 school year.
Enrollment numbers ranged from 2,970 at South Mecklenburg all the way down to 24 at the Eastern N.C. School for the Deaf.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87