Pack prepares to enter new conferencePublished 5:11pm Wednesday, June 12, 2013
As the Washington girls’ basketball coach, Allison Jones is very familiar with the transition game. As the Pam Pack’s athletic director, Jones will oversee a different type of transition this summer as Washington prepares to move from the NCHSAA 3-A Coastal Conference to the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference.
Every five years the NCHSAA evaluates each school in the state and reclassifies them according to their respective student enrollment. After the most recent NCHAA evaluation it was deemed Washington would slide into the 2-A classification for the first time in the school’s history despite the fact that Washington’s enrollment has already grown back to 3-A numbers.
Beginning in the next school year Washington will join Farmville Central, North Pitt, Southwest Edgecombe, North Johnston and Beddingfield to form the new Eastern Plains Conference, and while the Pam Pack’s conference opponents have changed Jones wanted to make it clear that not much else will as it pertains to Pam Pack sports.
“In passing I have heard that people are assuming that because we’re moving down a classification that we are now going to be limited or we are going to lose some of our teams, specifically JV girls’ teams, and that’s not the case at all,” Jones said. “We will continue to have all the teams that we have had in the past. That will not change because of the new classification and I want to make sure that people understand that.”
A majority of the Pam Pack sports teams will compete in the Eastern Plains Conference and the sports that will not be in a conference will proceed as independents.
“With the exception of a few sports we will field teams just like we have in the past in the Coastal Conference,” Jones said. “The only difference would be in girls’ golf and swimming and those sports don’t require team scores in order to qualify for state competition.
“They will make an independent schedule. Our coaches have already done that and put a schedule in place. We have a schedule, they just don’t have a conference schedule but they will still be able to qualify for state competition.”
Jones said the same logic also applies to JV sports at Washington.
“We will still field the same JV teams that we had in the past in the Coastal Conference,” Jones said. “We will have JV and varsity in every sport that we had previous to conference change.”
Though they will be competing in a new classification, Jones said she still expects the Pam Pack to face some stiff competition.
“One thing I know we all recognize as coaches is that the level of competition is certainly still going to be there,” Jones said. “We’re going to have our hands full across the board in terms of competing with our conference. Just because you drop a classification doesn’t mean that it’s easier competition.”