VHSL Realignment Decisions leave Prince William Upset


Hannah Jones

Varsity Football vs Hylton.

Anne Johnakin, Reporter

Colonial Forge, Massaponax, and Riverbend will move from VHSL Region 6A to 6B following an appeal to the VHSL Executive Committee.

“The [region] that VHSL put us in was Riverbend High School, Massaponax High School, schools all the way down in Chesterfield County Schools, down in the beach, and then Franklin County, which is in Southwest Virginia,” Mr. Jeff Berry, Forge’s athletic director said.

Forge’s desire to join 6B, which is mostly Prince William County Schools, is due to differences in traveling distances. In region 6A, where Forge is now, our average traveling distance was 128 miles, while 6B only has a distance of 27.6 miles.

“It’s just ridiculous that we have to drive that far,” Berry said. “Our students miss seat time because they have to get out of school early, or if they’re not getting out of school early, they’re getting home late and then they have to get up and go to school the next day.”

Transportation costs and decreasing ticket sales also contribute to the cost of being in region 6A. This, on top of the normal costs of running an athletics department, has become almost too much for the school to handle.

“Buying trophies, certificates, officials when you host region events, all the things that go into running a region, we lose money,” Berry said, “For instance, our school this year had to pay $2,000 just to keep the region up and going.”

Remaining in our current region would continue to disrupt the natural rivalries we have with schools in Prince William.

“We play these schools all the time during the regular season. We have a familiarity, our fans do, and a lot of our athletes have played on travel teams with them. We have no connection at all with any of the teams down south,” Berry said.

Forge went through three rounds of appeals before bringing their case to the Executive Committee of the VHSL, which voted to approve the move to region 6B. This decision caused major backlash from the schools in Prince William, citing travel time as their main issue.

“They don’t want to travel down 95, but you know what? We don’t want to travel 128 miles.”

Due to the uproar, the committee is open to better solutions. If none are found, Forge is likely to move to region 6B. Decisions will be finalized in December.