Southern Maryland's basketball teams may be most affected by a proposal for the next two-year regional alignment of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association.
The proposal by the MPSSAA's reclassification committee will scatter the 12 Southern Maryland public schools among three regions -- seven in the 3A South, three in the 2A South and two in the 4A East. The 3A South and 2A South will also house several schools from Prince George's County, which typically produces some of the strongest boys' and girls' basketball teams, including nine state champions the past three seasons.
According to the proposal, the 3A South Region, which has long been Southern Maryland's domain, along with a couple of Anne Arundel County schools, will add four schools from Prince George's -- DuVal, Friendly, Gwynn Park and Surrattsville.
Six Southern Maryland schools -- Chopticon, Huntingtown, La Plata, Lackey, Northern and Westlake -- would remain in the region.
Great Mills, which has spent the past two seasons in the 4A East, would return to the 3A South, trading places with Leonardtown. Thomas Stone would remain in the 4A East with eight other schools from Anne Arundel.
The opening of Huntingtown forced Calvert to drop to 2A South this year, where it figures to stay for at least the next two years. As expected, Huntingtown's opening also drained the enrollment of Patuxent, which, according to the proposal, would move from the 4A East to the 2A South. McDonough would also drop to the 2A South, which includes 10 other schools, split between Howard and Prince George's counties.
If approved, the plan would take effect in the 2005-06 school year. It goes to the MPSSAA Board of Control for a vote Dec. 8.
Southern Maryland has had a boys' and a girls' regional champion in basketball in each of the past five seasons but will face much stiffer competition if this proposal passes.
"I'm happy with this. I would rather play Gwynn Park a couple of times a year," said Westlake girls' basketball coach Sean Anderson, whose team has been to the state semifinals three of the past four seasons.
"Anything that's going to provide our program with better competition is good. We expend too much energy trying to find better competition in the regular season. There's no free ride to a state title."