Phoebus would move to Class 4, Great Bridge, Kellam and Ocean Lakes to Class 5 in proposed Virginia High School League plan for 2023-24

Eleven schools in Hampton Roads will change state postseason classes for the 2023-24 school year if the Virginia High School League’s latest realignment proposal is adopted in September.

After receiving the latest enrollments submitted by school divisions to the Virginia Department of Education, the VHSL split its 316 public-school members, plus Liberty Christian Academy in Lynchburg, into approximate sixths, regardless of geography. The most populous 53 schools will compete for Class 6 state supremacy, the next populous 53 in Class 5 and so on down to the least populous 52, which will play in Class 1.

The new classes will be in effect for four years, through 2026-27.

Like the current groupings, which run through the 2022-23 season, much of Class 5 is composed of Hampton Roads schools. Thirteen are in Region A and 10 in Region B, giving southeastern Virginia half of the state playoff qualifiers in many situations.

In the other classes, almost all area teams compete in various forms of Region A.

If a school doesn’t like its assignment, it must appeal the decision by Aug. 8. The appeal committee will meet Aug. 23, and the VHSL Executive Committee is scheduled to convene Sept. 21 to determine the final plan.

Most schools in the area, including the entire Eastern District, were assigned to remain in their current class. By district, here are the schools that will change:

Beach District: Kellam and Ocean Lakes will drop from Class 6 to 5. That would mean the entire district would be in Class 5 Region A except for Landstown, a Class 6 school.

Peninsula District: Gloucester would drop from Class 5 to 4. Phoebus, which won last year’s Class 3 football title, would return to Class 4. Warwick would go up from Class 4 to 5, while Heritage would fall from Class 4 to 3.

Southeastern District: Three schools would rise from Class 4 to 5: Deep Creek, Great Bridge and King’s Fork. Hickory would drop from Class 5 to 4.

Bay Rivers District: Grafton would fall from Class 4 to 3.

Here are the proposed regions from 2023-24 to 2026-27 that will contain schools in or around Hampton Roads, in alphabetical order.

Class 6 Region A: Cosby, Deep Run, Glen Allen, Grassfield, Highland Springs, Landstown, Manchester, Meadowbrook, Oscar Smith, Patrick Henry of Roanoke, Thomas Dale, Western Branch.

Class 5 Region A: Bayside, Cox, Deep Creek, First Colonial, Great Bridge, Green Run, Indian River, Kellam, Kempsville, Ocean Lakes, Princess Anne, Salem, Tallwood.

Class 5 Region B: Bethel, Granby, Kecoughtan, King’s Fork, Maury, Menchville, Nansemond River, Norview, Warwick, Woodside.

Class 4 Region A: Churchland, Denbigh, Gloucester, Hampton, Hickory, Jamestown, Manor, Phoebus, Smithfield, Warhill.

Class 3 Region A: Booker T. Washington, Colonial Heights, Grafton, Heritage, Hopewell, Lafayette, Lakeland, Lake Taylor, New Kent, Norcom, Petersburg, Tabb, York.

Class 2 Region A: Amelia County, Arcadia, Bruton, Central of Lunenburg, Greensville County, John Marshall, King William, Maggie Walker, Nandua, Nottoway, Poquoson, Prince Edward, Randolph-Henry, Southampton, Windsor.

Class 1 Region A: Charles City, Chincoteague, Colonial Beach, Essex, King & Queen Central, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Northampton, Northumberland, Rappahannock, Westmoreland, West Point.

Class 1 Region B: Altavista, Appomattox Regional Governor’s School, Brunswick, Buffalo Gap, Carver Academy, Cumberland, Franklin, Galileo, Rappahannock County, Surry County, Sussex Central, William Campbell.