Every two years the Virginia High School League (VHSL) whom is the governing body that regulates all of the public high schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia looks at each public high schools populations and student enrollment. As the start of the 2014-15 school year began the VHSL reviewed and adjusted public high schools classifications as needed. As this adoption plan became final and public in late 2014 you found changes occurring rapidly in the 4A West Region as Fauquier HS stays put in Conference 22.
As Fauquier HS student populations over the past two years (for the most part) has stayed flat (1184 students in 13-14 and 1212 projected students in 15-16), schools in Loudoun Co. has brought most of the shake-up to the 4A classification body. As some school increased in student populations and others may have decreased in school size the VHSL tried to make adjustments with school classifications during this review. Believe me there is a process for appealing but hard to win those battles.
Prior to the 2012-13 school year the VHSL classification only had three groups, A, AA, and AAA classifications. The Fauquier Falcons then were aligned in the AA classification at that time but actually bounced back and forth between AA and AAA classification over the past 30 plus years.
But as stated already once the VHSL goes through this process of study every two years as representatives meet for this reclassification process. The primary purpose is to equalize competitive fairness based on the relevant school size in all sports and activities.
To take a closer look of what the VHSL has adopted for the 15-16 and 16-17 school year alignment will show for the most part changes occurring in the 4A classification. Shifting schools up and down between 5A to 4A and vise verse with the 4A to 3A classifications movement was evident – as schools systems and schools become bigger or smaller VHSL make adjustments. As each of the classifications are built around two regions a North and a South or an East and a West Region the VHSL can and have adjusted schools to other regions and reforms regions if needed.
One of the big changes in the 4A classification was that the North and South region being renamed to East and West. The second major change was the 4A West Region now having a makeup to five total conferences. As noted before and with the growth of Loudoun Co. the VHSL moved to install an additional Conference 21 – making a 21A and 21B Conference with 22, 23 and 24 respectively.
For Conference 22 - Fauquiers current conference, the VHSL took steps to realign and move four of the current schools: Chancellor HS, Courtland HS, King George HS, and Eastern View HS to Conference 19 and to the 4A East Region. With these move changes the VHSL then brought three newer schools into Conference 22: John Champe HS – (LC), Freedom HS – (LC), and Kettle Run – (FQ). One major note is that the three Fauquier county schools will all be on the same 4A classifications.
Please note that this new alignment will not take effect until the start of the 2015-16 school year and will be in place for two years. The below link is the Final VHSL Adopted Conference Alignment Plan for 2015-16 and 2016-17:
The Following link are the assigned schools under the new six adopted classifications: 2015-16 and 2016-17 Alignment
As for Fauquier wrestling concerns the big topic at first glance would be the number of conference level advancements to the 4A West Region that would be allowed. In the past years the top four individuals in each weight class at each conference had qualitied for the Regional Championship. But with this new 4A West Region change that is filled with five conferences this will most certain have this Region coming up with a plan where conference advancements will only be limited to top three individuals in each weight class.
In short this new format now brings on a more meaningful consolation final wrestling matches. Any wrestlers that would find them in the consolation finals would need a win to now advance onto the Region where in the past this was not the case.
Below is the new make-up for Conference 22 schools as the start of the 15-16 school year:
John Champe – (LC)
Freedom – (LC)
Liberty – Beal (FQ)