Phoebus, a football powerhouse and the defending Class 3 state champion, will compete in a higher classification, and some other Hampton Roads schools also are climbing in a realignment plan approved this week by the Virginia High School League.
The VHSL’s Executive Committee voted Wednesday to approve the four-year plan — based on enrollment — that begins with the 2023-24 school year.
Phoebus’ enrollment puts the Phantoms in Class 4, and fellow Peninsula District member Warwick will go from Class 4 to Class 5. Gloucester drops from Class 5 to Class 4, and Heritage, of Newport News, goes from Class 4 to Class 3.
In South Hampton Roads, Deep Creek, Great Bridge and King’s Fork all move from Class 4 to Class 5. King’s Fork joins Suffolk neighbor Nansemond River in Class 5, while Lakeland stays in Class 3.
King’s Fork has been a state contender in Class 4, with football and boys basketball state semifinal apperances last season. The King’s Fork girls basketball team won its first state title last year.
Deep Creek’s enrollment of 1,224 students makes the school among the smallest in Class 5; Sherando (1,215) and Potomac Falls (1,205) are the only Class 5 schools with fewer students. Matoaca (1,204) is the largest school in Class 4.
Deep Creek’s appeal to stay in Class 4 was denied by the VHSL in a 35-0 vote.
In the Beach District, Kellam and Ocean Lakes drop from Class 6 to Class 5, leaving Landstown as the district’s only Class 6 member.
In the Bay Rivers District, Grafton will move from Class 4 to Class 3.
VHSL realignment plan
A look at region placement for Hampton Roads schools in the VHSL’s approved four-year realignment plan for 2023-24.
Region A: Cosby, Deep Run, Glen Allen, Grassfield, Highland Springs, Landstown, Manchester, Meadowbrook, Oscar Smith, Thomas Dale, Western Branch.
Region A: Bayside, Deep Creek, First Colonial, Kellam, Cox, Great Bridge, Green Run, Hickory, Indian River, Kempsville, Ocean Lakes, Princess Anne, Salem, Tallwood.
Region B: Bethel, Granby, Kecoughtan, King’s Fork, Maury, Menchville, Nansemond River, Norview, Warwick, Woodside.
Region A: Churchland, Denbigh, Gloucester, Hampton, Jamestown, Manor, Phoebus, Smithfield, Warhill.
Region A: Booker T. Washington, Colonial Heights, Grafton, Heritage, Hopewell, Norcom, Lafayette, Lakeland, Lake Taylor, New Kent, Petersburg, Tabb, York.
Region A: Amelia County, Arcadia, Bruton, Central (Lunenburg), Greensville, John Marshall, King William, Nandua, Nottoway, Poquoson, Prince Edward, Randolph-Henry, Southampton, Windsor.
Jami Frankenberry, 757-446-2375, firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @JamiVP