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Staunton River High School has applied to leave the Seminole District in order to join the Blue Ridge. The move, if approved, would impact all VHSL sanctioned extracurricular activities. It would also break up the current configuration in which all Bedford County high schools are a part of the Seminole District.
If approved, the move would take place for the 2009-2010 school year.
At this point, the move is only in the request stage, with Staunton River's application submitted to the VHSL Redistricting and Reclassification (R&R) Committee. A total of 11 schools have made requests in the current cycle, including E.C. Glass, which has requested to join the Seminole District.
Per the VHSL's weekly update, "Each district and region that would be affected by the modification requests is asked to consider each request and advise the League office as to whether it supports or opposes the modification and the basis for the respective position."
The deadline for applications was Dec. 14. The comment period is open through Jan. 22.
"This wasn't a haphazard decision," said Staunton River Athletic Director Ricky Falls. "We're basing this decision on what is best for Staunton River."
Among those factors, according to Falls, is a change in the general philosophy and an opportunity to jump start the school's athletics. With a new gym coming, the move might help lift the school's sagging sports. The Golden Eagles haven't won much in the last decade. This past fall, the football and volleyball teams finished in last place in the Seminole District. Last year, the school had zero district titles to show for its efforts.
Based on team rosters, with a few exceptions, the Staunton River sports teams draw significantly fewer participants.
Falls stated that the decision was made by the school administration, including himself, in consultation with the Golden Eagle coaches. Dr. Michael Kelly, principal of Staunton River, was not available by press deadline for comments.
Dr. James Blevins seemed comfortable with the proposal. "I support the school administration," said Blevins. "They've looked very hard at the decision."
Geographical realities seem to have played a role. "Staunton River is more in line with Roanoke than it is with Lynchburg," said Blevins. "They also want to develop new rivalries."
Both Falls and Blevins felt comfortable that games would continue with current county rivals Liberty and Jefferson Forest. "This could be a good thing," said Blevins of having county schools represented in two distinct districts. "We could wind up with two district titles."
Blue Ridge District w/ population
Alleghany (Div 3) 826
William Byrd (Div 4) 1,225
Lord Botetourt (Div 3) 1,050
Northside (Div 3) 1,027
Seminole District w/ population
Amherst County (Div 4) 1,475
Brookville (Div 3) 1,004
Heritage (Div 4) 1,122
Jefferson Forest (Div 4) 1,359
Liberty (Div 3) 1,022
Rustburg (Div 3) 891
Staunton River (Div 3) 1,111