BY DAVID MCCOLLUM
Buzz Bolding, athletic director for Conway Public Schools, is pleased, particularly from a potential revenue standpoint, that a vote by the largest 32 schools in the state placed Bryant, Cabot and North Little Rock back into the 7A/6A Central Conference.
Representatives of the 32 largest schools in the state voted 23-9 to move six schools from their original assignments for the next two-year classification cycle. That means Little Rock Parkvew and Little Rock Hall, originally assigned to the Central Conference, will be moved to the East and Cabot and North Little Rock, assigned to the East, will return to the Central. Little Rock Fair, also assigned to the Central, will move to the South and Bryant, originally assigned to the South, will return to the Central.
Because of travel concerns, the AAA's Board of Directors last spring merged the 7A/6A leagues for regular-season competition. They will be separated into larger school/smaller school division for the playoffs. Searcy, the smallest member of 7A/6A Conference, appeals about being placed in the same conference with much larger schools such as Conway, Little Rock Central, Little Rock Catholic and Russellville.
The 19-member AAA board made no recommendation but submitted the appeal to the 7A/6A schools for a mail ballot. The results were announced Thursday.
The result is the new 7A/6A Central will be the same as the current one: Conway, Bryant, Cabot, Little Rock Catholic/Mount St. Mary, Little Rock Central, North Little Rock, Russellville and Van Buren.
“I’m happy it went back because of the revenue it will mean for us,” said Bolding. “Bryant, Cabot and North Little Rock represent some of our top gates in about every sport. They are much more gates that Fair, Parkview and Hall. We were OK with whatever they decided, but you can’t turn your back on that revenue."
The new East Conference will consist of Jacksonville, Jonesboro, Little Rock Hall, Little Rock Parkview, Marion, Mountain Home, Searcy and West Memphis.