I'm sure a lot of areas in the state aren't exactly happy with the two drafts the N.C. High School Athletic Association has released to begin the process of putting its 390 teams into new conferences beginning in 2013. At least in Mecklenburg County, the proposed conferences are close to being fairly optimal.
I think the second proposal that came out this week (the one created by NCHSAA staff) was a little better than the first one we saw earlier this month (the one created by a computer).
In the most recent proposal, Lake Norman leaves a CMS league but doesn't have to go the mountains every day, for example, and Mooresville goes with its rival to a league of Iredell-area teams.
In Mecklenburg County, we get three conferences:
Conference 5A: Berry; East Mecklenburg; Garinger; Harding; Independence; Rocky River; West Charlotte; West Mecklenburg
Conference 6: AL Brown; Hopewell; Hough; Mallard Creek; North Mecklenburg; Robinson; Vance
Conference 4: Ardrey Kell; Butler; Charlotte Catholic; Myers Park; Olympic; Porter Ridge; Providence; South Mecklenburg
Doesn't make quite as much sense.
I remember in the old days of a 10-school CMS in which no one gave much thought of driving from North Meck to Independence, but that's changed now. And I don't see the logic of putting Rocky River and Independence, which are far east, in a league with a school like West Mecklenburg.
I also don't see the logic in creating a conference where the schools who don't generally produce Olympic sports teams are clustered together with ones who do. I think it's better to split those schools up.
It'll be interesting to see what proposals CMS comes up with to counter the state option, if any. Given that any proposals would include only a few non-CMS teams, chances of approval would be strong.
I think the best new alignment is as follows, taking geography, rivalry and fair distribution of teams into account:
Mecklenburg County Conference 1 (the old Southwestern 4A): Ardrey Kell, Butler, East Mecklenburg, Garinger, Independence, Porter Ridge, Providence, Rocky River
Mecklenburg County Conference 2 (the old I-MECK 4A): A.L. Brown, Hopewell, Hough, Mallard Creek, North Meck, Robinson, Vance, West Charlotte
Mecklenburg County Conference 3 (the old MEGA 7): Berry, Charlotte Catholic, Harding, Myers Park, Olympic, South Meck, West Mecklenburg
See each of the state proposals at obsprepspot.blogspot.com.
Charlotte Touchdown Club award winners
Monroe QB Quayshawn Chambers is the 2011 Comeback Player-of-the-Year. In the first game of the 2010 season, Chambers fractured his ankle against Porter Ridge High School. The broken tibia bone required him to undergo emergency surgery to insert a plate and four screws into the ankle.
This season, Chambers started at QB, leading Monroe to a 10-4 record. He threw for more than 1,700 yards passing and had more than 1,200 yards rushing.
Weddington's Buck Jones is the 2011 Donnie Shell High School Defensive Player-of-the-Year.
This season, Jones, a defensive end and middle linebacker, had 101 tackles, including 10 for losses. He had six quarterback sacks and a fumble recovery. He was the Southern Carolina conference player of the year. Jones, a 4.52 student, has also volunteered with Hoops for Hope, Kids First of the Carolinas, the Special Olympics, and as a Challenger Baseball Buddy.
Ardrey Kell's Matt Carrick is the student-athlete of the year. Carrick was a starting offensive lineman who allowed one sack all season. He was also the team's long snapper for field goals and punts.
Carrick was an AP Scholar with Honors, a member of the Presidential Honor Roll and will graduate with a N.C. Academic Scholar Diploma. He has a 4.83 GPA plus perfect attendance. Carrick also volunteered with Blanket America Ministries, was an assistant baseball coach for Community House Middle school, and a tutor for students at Community House Middle.