WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Conference realignment was one of the major topics discussed at the 31st annual BB&T Football Jamboree luncheon held Tuesday at Sir Tyer in Wilmington.
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association's latest realignment has changed things greatly for the North Brunswick football program. The Scorpions moved up from 2A to 3A, and join the Mideastern Conference. North will now play the Brunswick and New Hanover County teams to go along with Topsail.
"Playing them in the conference is different because you are fighting for conference standings," North Brunswick head coach Darren Willis said. "Because if you play them in a nonconference game early in the schedule, you might get them."
North Brunswick is no stranger to playing those schools, but always as nonconference opponents.
"That is when we have been getting West and South early in the season," Willis said. "Now they are right in the middle of the schedule and you would figure they are better later in the season when we are going to get them."
Change is also on the way for three-time defending 1AA state champs Wallace-Rose Hill. The Bulldogs move up to the 2A ranks, and join the East Central Conference.
First-year Bulldogs head coach Kevin Motsinger said he is ready for the transition.
"Don't mean no disrespect, but there were a lot of teams they didn't have to prepare for," Motsinger said. "You know they had folks and played at a higher level. You look at our schedule now and it's every week. It's like the old East Central. You better be able to strap it on every week."
While most teams moved up, New Hanover moved down from 4A to 3A. The Wildcats stay in the Mideastern, meaning there is very little change for Earl Smith's squad.
"If you look across the board, most of the schools in the 3AA, and we are the largest," Smith said. "They are the old, small 4A, excluding Scotland. So across the state, it's very similar."
The BB&T Football Jamboree starts at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 11 at Legion Stadium in Wilmington.