Every four years, the N.C. High School Athletic Association reorganizes its schools into new conferences, calling the process "realignment."
Every four years, there's a lot of consternation about where schools are placed.
I can see trouble in some spots in the state from the first draft that's come out this week, but for Mecklenburg County, I don't see much of a problem at all.
Charlotte Catholic moves into what's traditionally been the Southwestern 4A and the Cougars will play schools like Ardrey Kell and South Meck and Providence, schools that are a 10-minute drive away, and beef up their schedule at the same time.
Union County's Porter Ridge joins the league and, best I can tell, Porter Ridge has always considered itself almost a Mecklenburg County school. Many of the Porter Ridge parents work in Charlotte, live their lives in Charlotte and "think" Charlotte (at least judging by my emails).
Now they are Charlotte and will play Charlotte schools on a regular basis.
I also like A.L. Brown coming into a Charlotte conference. That brings a major football powerhouse in, as well as former Butler football coach Mike Newsome, maybe the state's top coach. Brown will get to tangle with rising football powers Mooresville and Mallard Creek. The basketball should be good, too, mixing those three in with North Meck and Vance.
The third league is interesting, too. By adding West Charlotte and Independence, the old ME-GA 7, can't be considered "the third league" anymore. It has some serious star power. It may also rekindle what used to be the state's best rivalry between Independence and West Charlotte - in football and basketball - and I like East Meck moving to this league as well.
The first proposal does end some traditional in-conference rivalries, but it also creates new ones, and displaced schools are free to schedule their old rivals out of conference.
The state plans to release its own proposal by Dec. 9, and the schools, of course, can ask for a change from either of the first two proposals. They must do so by January.
But I really don't think that CMS needs to.