The final touches have been made on the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s 2013-17 conference realignment. And the new leagues, which start in the fall, now have names.The new northern Mecklenburg league, the MECKA 4A, will keep most of the current I-Meck schools – Hopewell, Hough, Mallard Creek, North Meck, Vance and West Charlotte – and add Cabarrus County’s A.L. Brown and Jay M. Robinson.The two departing I-Meck schools, Lake Norman and Mooresville, will join the North Piedmont 3A/4A with North, South and West Iredell as well as Alexander Central, North Lincoln and Statesville.In 2A, Bandys and East Lincoln will be in the Southern District 7 Athletic Conference along with Bunker Hill, Lincolnton, Maiden, Newton-Conover, West Caldwell and West Lincoln.Lake Norman Charter, now a 1A school, moves up to a 2A/3A league with Gaston County schools Stuart Cramer, Hunter Huss, Ashbrook, East Gaston, Forestview, North Gaston and South Point.The Southern Piedmont Conference, which currently has both 1A and 2A teams, will morph into a 1A league, returning Bessemer City, Cherryville and Highland Tech and adding Community School of Davidson, Thomas Jefferson Classical, Lincoln Charter and Pine Lake Prep.Next fall will be the first time CSD, Lincoln Charter and Pine Lake Prep will be in an official NCHSAA conference.Christ the King Catholic, which was originally put in the Southern Piedmont 1A, will be an independent next school year.Rick Strunk, the NCHSAA’s associate commissioner of communications, said that the association’s board approved the unusual move because the school thought that the program was not ready for conference affiliation.Christ the King athletic director Phil Harrington explained that with about 65 students enrolled at the school, the program may not be able to grow fast enough to fulfill its obligations to the league, such as fielding certain sports, for the upcoming year. He said that wouldn’t be fair for the rest of the other schools in the conference.“Not knowing exactly what we were going to have, we decided to stay independent,” said Harrington.The school, which is currently in Mooresville but has plans of moving to its permanent campus in Kannapolis in the fall, will reassess whether they’ll be ready to join the conference next year.Christ the King principal Daniel Dolan expects the school to start growing at a faster rate in the near future, but with family ties keeping some area students at Charlotte Catholic, it may be a slow process.“As time goes by, you’ll see more opting to stay north,” said Dolan.The school, which has slowly added sports to its program since the school opened in 2011, has plans of adding more as the school grows, concluding with football.“Once we have a full school in two years, hopefully we’ll be able to sustain a full athletic program,” said Harrington.Local athletes sign to play in collegeNational Signing Day was held on Feb. 6. Here’s a list of Lake Norman-area athletes whose signings were submitted to the Observer: • Davidson Day: Aaron Seward (Carson-Newman, football); Maddy Clark (Presbyterian, women’s soccer); Caitlyn Rodrigues (Queens, women’s soccer); Ciara Murphy (USC-Upstate, women’s soccer); Schuyler Coleman (UNC, football); Jordan Young (Cornell, football) • Hopewell: Michael Zanders (Gannon, football); Kailan Chavis (Gannon, football) • Hough: Blake Dueitt (Ball State, football); Brandi Arey (Gardner-Webb, women’s soccer); Courtney Crump (UNC-Wilmington, women’s soccer); Brianna Cuevas (Western Carolina, women’s soccer); Lydia Drakeford (Queens, women’s soccer); Mike Hart (Courtland, lacrosse) • Lake Norman Charter: Alex Scearce (Coastal Carolina, football); Carolyn Huddy (UNC Wilmington, women’s soccer); Carolina Sanchez (UNC Pembroke, women’s soccer) Carson McNamara (Surry Community College, baseball) • Lake Norman: Ben Steen (Appalachian State, soccer); Kendall Fischlein (Wake Forrest, soccer); John Suther (Queens Uni, swim); Cody Karns (UNC, wrestling) • Mooresville: Dre’ Howell (Elon, football); Joe Robinson (Maryville, football) • North Mecklenburg: Tahjai Watt (Western Carolina, football) • South Iredell: Scott Miller (Campbell, football); LaChaston Smith (Virginia, football); Kaitlyn Kent (Air Force, women’s swimming); Miracle Campbell (Pfeiffer, women’s soccer); Ashlyn Pierce (Pembroke, women’s soccer); Kane Sutten (Rockingham CC, baseball); Brianna Williams (Lenoir-Rhyne, women’s golf) • SouthLake Christian: Andre Diouf (Central Florida, soccer); Christian McArthur (Mars Hill, soccer); Tyler Rhem-Stubbs (Erskine, soccer); Demetri Allison (Elon, football); Andrew Rhem-Stubbs (Brevard, soccer).
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013
Realigned conferences set for the fall with new names
Most current I-Meck schools will stay together
Tovar: 704-358-5941; Twitter: @sergiotovar
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