The North Carolina High School Athletic Association heard final arguments and appeals concerning realignment for the fall of 2013. And Watauga High is right back where it started, in an eight-team Class 3A/4A conference with Fred T. Foard, Hickory, St. Stephens, South Caldwell, Hibriten, Freedom
and Patton. WHS and South Caldwell will be the only Class 4A schools in the league.
Alexander Central, a current member of the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference, will join a split (3A/4A) conference that includes Statesville, North Iredell, West Iredell, South Iredell, Lake Norman, Mooresville and North Lincoln. There are reports that the Pioneers will officially open the football season against Alexander Central in 2013.
Ashe County will be in a Class 1A/2A league that includes the current members of the Mountain Valley Conference (North Wilkes, West Wilkes, Wilkes Central, Starmount, Alleghany, East Wilkes and Elkin) with the exception of Forbush. The Falcons will be paired up with West Stokes, Surry Central, North Surry, South Stokes, West Stokes and Carver in a Class 2A league.
The only real change concerns Avery, which finds itself in a seven team Class 1A/2A league with Polk County, Mitchell, Mountain Heritage, Hendersonville, Owen and Madison.
East Burke, West Caldwell and Draughn, who were originally paired up with Avery, Mountain Heritage and Mitchell, find themselves in a more suitable position travel-wise. East Burke and Draughn will be moved into a nine team Class 2A/3A conference with Chase, East Rutherford, Kings Mountain, R-S Central, Shelby, Lawndale Burns and Crest; West Caldwell will be in a Class 2A league with Bandys, Bunker Hill, East Lincoln, Lincolnton, Maiden, Newton-Conover and West Lincoln. The final draft will be announced in May; realignment officially takes place in August of 2013.