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Soccer realignment would be positive change for Carroll County program

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By Kristin Beck

Carroll County High School’s soccer teams may soon find themselves on a more even playing field when it comes to district play.

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association Board of Control will vote at their Jan. 25 meeting whether to accept the new district and regional soccer alignments for each of the state’s 16 regions that was drafted at its regular November meeting, Assistant Commissioner Michael Barren said.

The proposed plan, submitted to member schools for feedback, would begin in the 2012-13 school year, according to a KHSAA news release. The reasoning for this is to allow for future growth in districts where soccer is in its infancy, or schools that plan to start soccer programs. While some districts may appear to have stark differences in the number of teams, the difference is not as great because some schools currently field only a boy’s squad or a girls’ squad.
“Obviously there are different numbers of teams in each region and in many cases, differing numbers of districts within regions. This is necessary as soccer continues to be a developing sport in terms of school participation,” Commissioner Julian Tackett explained in a letter to the state school administrators. “However, it was felt that the current alignment (in place for the 2011 season) was a potential deterrent to teams adding soccer as travel was greatly increased as the travel went across traditional region lines.”

Currently, Carroll County High School is a member of Region 8, which has two districts, 15 and 16. Carroll is in District 16 along with Martha Layne Collins, North Oldham, Oldham County, Shelby County, South Oldham and Spencer County.

In the new alignment, the region would be broken up into four districts, 29-32. Carroll would be in District 31 along with Gallatin County, Henry County and Owen County, mirroring the other team sports. However, Gallatin County currently does not have a girls’ soccer team, so there would be only three teams in the district.

In an interview Monday, Barren emphasized that the changes are not official until the board votes at their meeting on Jan. 25. He said he has heard a “very positive” reaction from coaches and high schools about the possible changes. Barren said he cannot speak to the new playoff arrangements because the board has not discussed them yet.

Carroll County boys’ head coach Ben Crutcher and girls’ head coach Greg Damron both said the new alignment would be a positive change and would allow their teams to be more competitive in district play.

Carroll County Athletic Director Randy Mefford also said he is excited about the possible change. “We think it is a good opportunity to build our soccer program to a regional level. … It’s a great opportunity for our kids to compete and to have a legitimate shot each year at playing schools similar to their size in the district tournament.”