WEST JEFFERSON — The North Carolina High School Athletic Association released its first draft of the proposal for conference realignment beginning in 2017.
According to the first draft, the 1A/2A Mountain Valley Athletic Conference will stay the same as it is right now with Starmount, Alleghany, Elkin and East Wilkes all as 1A schools with Ashe, West Wilkes, North Wilkes and Wilkes Central all remaining in 2A.
For other area schools, things will change a bit if the first proposal holds true.
Avery County is projected to be in a five-team, 1A/2A split conference with Mitchell (1A), Mountain Heritage (2A), Madison (2A) and Charles D. Owen (2A).
For Hibriten, the Panthers are dropping down to 2A and are proposed to be in an eight-team conference consisting of Bunker Hill, Draughn, East Burke, Fred T. Foard, Newton-Conover, Patton and West Iredell.
West Caldwell will be moving up to 3A while Watauga will be dropping to 3A and both teams are currently projected to be in the same conference, a 3A/4A split. Joining those two schools would be Alexander Central, Freedom, Hickory, St. Stephens, McDowell (4A) and South Caldwell (4A).
The current proposal has 12 1A conferences, four 1A/2A conferences, 14 2A conferences, 14 3A conferences, three 3A/4A conferences and 11 4A conferences.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87