Athletic Directors from area high schools discuss realignment and its challenges for the coming year.

Barner: The bottom line is that I think every school's going to lose money and every school is going to be doing more work and putting out more money for travel. (Peninsula District schools) playing rivalry games only once is going to be a huge (revenue) loss for you.

Bennett: You (have to) take us three and a half hours to Park View-South Hill and it's another haul, two and a half hours to Colonial Heights in our Conference (25).

Barner: Another big problem I have with this is the class time kids are going to miss in some of these sports. Not necessarily in football. But these other sports, If Southampton has to go to Loudoun County (for a regional game), they won't get back until 2 in the morning. I don't know what they're thinking.

DP: The perfect example (of lengthy travel) around here is Bruton. They're with Nandua, Arcadia, King Williams, Windsor and Maggie Walker.

Barner: Maggie Walker has to go all the way to Nandua. Picture that!

According to Mapquest, that's a 160-mile drive that will would take three hours.

Barner: We've been decent in Division 3 football. But if we have to go to Loudoun County to play a regional game, people in Williamsburg aren't going. I'm telling you right now. They won't go. And I can't see Loudoun County people coming down to Wanner Stadium, either. So the regional budgets aren't going to be as lucrative as they used to be. Then what are you going to do?

Price: I live in Williamsburg and people up there, my kids go to Jamestown, they're like, we gotta play Phoebus, we're not going down to Phoebus to watch a game.

Bennett: That's the other reason. I said, is it best for the kids? We never got time to talk about the culture shock between difference cultures we work in because we all know our schools are a culture. That's why we fought for the district. Y'all's culture in the district is sort of the same in your district. That's what makes it nice. Everybody understands. Now we're gonna go to different places and the culture's gonna be different.

New-look postseason

DP: It's hard to not see that the football playoffs have been watered down. Now, there will be 3-7 teams in the playoffs. And you'll have first-round games that will be something like 70-0.

There will be 32 teams in each group in the playoffs, or 192 of the 315 VHSL members, or 61 percent.

Martin: That's a huge waste of money, to send a team (on the road) that's going to get crushed.

Barner: When your transportation guy sees these budgets and tells the superintendent, and then the finance guy says, 'We're not bringing in the money we used to be bringing in for the big football games,' and they all get together, it could be down the road that the superintendents say, 'Oh, no. Time out.' That could happen.

Peters: When I first started seven years ago, our transportation athletic budget was close to $500,000. Now it's down to like $260,000. And that's between five high schools, now. So they've cut us back big time. And now we have to travel further and bring in less money.

DP: You mentioned early that one of the reasons why the VHSL did this was money. Where's the money going to be made and who will get it?

Peters: The state semifinals and finals, the VHSL gets the money. Our 4A South championship game is a state semifinal game. The region does not get that money like it is today. Now, the 4A semifinal game — it could be Lake Taylor and Phoebus or whatever it may be — that money goes to the Virginia High School League.

DP: Now In basketball, two teams go from each conference? How do you decide that?

The schools in the four districts in the old Eastern Region are playing district teams not in their conference once, and all their conference opponents twice each. The Bay Rivers District schools are still playing each other twice during the regular season.

Peters: We're doing a conference schedule, then we're going a conference tournament. … And the (semifinal) winners go on to the regional tournament.