Cary's Green Hope and Panther Creek will appeal their placement in a high school athletic conference with Durham Hillside, Durham Jordan, Durham Riverside, Northern Durham and Person.
A plan approved by the N.C. High School Athletic Association realignment committee Wednesday would place Green Hope and Panther Creek in the league for four years.
Schools may appeal their placement to the realignment committee March 15. The committee, made up of superintendents and principals, will recommend a plan to the NCHSAA board of directors in May.
The board has final approval of the plan.
Wayne Bragg, athletics director at Green Hope, said the two Wake County Schools would continue to stress to the committee that they should be allowed to remain with the other schools in their community.
"We won't change the message," Bragg said. "We have nothing at all against the other schools. We just want to remain with our community. We think we have some options to show the committee. I understand the need for the five schools to have other schools in their conference, but we think there is a better way."
Bragg believes the realignment committee should consider a 3A/4A conference, a league that would have 3A and 4A schools. He plans to explore the possibility of some local 3A schools preferring to be aligned with the Durham-area schools.
"Many of the 3A schools in the area have been aligned with the Durham schools in the past," Bragg said. "I think some of them may have interest."
Green Hope and Panther Creek, which are in western Wake County, are the closest 4A schools to the five Durham-area 4A schools.
East Chapel Hill and Southern Durham are in the PAC-Six 4A with the other five schools, but East Chapel Hill and Southern are moving to the 3A classification because they no longer have 4A enrollments.
With East Chapel Hill and Southern Durham leaving, the PAC Six 4A will have only five schools, too few to make a conference, according to the realignment committee.
"We know that Green Hope and Panther Creek would prefer to remain with the schools in their current conference, but the association's task is to look at the state overall and arrange the schools in the best alignment that we can," said Davis Whitfield, the NCHSAA commissioner.
Bobby Hill, athletics director at Hillside, said he believes the new league with Green Hope and Panther Creek will be a good one.
"Panther Creek and Green Hope bring a lot to the league, and so do the other five schools," Hill said. "Last year when the Hillside girls played Green Hope in the basketball playoffs, the gym was packed and it was a great atmosphere.
"I anticipate that type of excitement a lot. I think Green Hope and Panther Creek will enjoy the atmosphere at our football games, too."
After two preliminary drafts of the alignment had been developed, Panther Creek and Green Hope appealed to the realignment committee based on history, rivalries, travel expenses and community support.
Bobby Guthrie, the Wake Schools senior administrator for athletics, had asked the realignment committee to keep the system's 21 high schools in no more than three conferences. Under the proposed alignment, Wake's schools will be in four conferences.