East Bladen and West Bladen high schools currently are members of the nine-school Three Rivers 2-A/1-A Conference.
If the the NC High School Athletic Association’s second realignment draft plan released Thursday is passed, the two Bladen County will be in an all 2-A 10-school conference. The four Columbus County schools — Whiteville, East Columbus, South Columbus and West Columbus — will be replaced by Clinton, East Duplin, James Kenan, Midway and Wallace-Rose Hill.
It’s a dramatic change from the first draft of the state’s four-year realignment plan that will begin with the 2021-22 academic year.
Under the first draft released Dec. 10, East Bladen and West Bladen were placed in a split 2-A/1-A conference with Fairmont, Red Springs and St. Pauls along with 1-A members Lakewood and Union.
Schools have until Jan. 21 to appeal the second draft.
A third realignment draft is scheduled to be released Feb. 4.
The final realignment plan is expected to be announced in March.