The end of an era


Southeastern conference renamed Sandhills Athletic conference

By Amber Hatten - ahatten@civitasmedia.com



Amber Hatten | Laurinburg Exchange The Fighting Scots along with the Southeastern conference’s six other teams — Hoke, Lumberton, Pinecrest, Purnell Swett and Richmond — will be joined by Jack Britt and Seventy-First to form the Sandhills Athletic conference at the start of the 2017-18 academic year.


LAURINBURG — After more than 30 years the Southeastern conference is no more.

The Fighting Scots along with the SEC’s six other teams — Hoke, Lumberton, Pinecrest, Purnell Swett and Richmond — will be joined by Jack Britt and Seventy-First to form the Sandhills Athletic conference.

The new conference names for the 2017-2021 academic years were released on Tuesday ahead of the final appeals meeting for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s next realignment.

As it does every four years, the NCHSAA is undergoing a realignment that will take effect starting this fall and will last through the 2021 academic year. The realignments allow the NCHSAA to place schools in the proper division based on their average daily membership.

The NCHSAA is basing the numbers on the 20-30-30-20 model, according to this formula, 20 percent of the member schools will be placed in either the 1A or 4A divisions. The 2A and 3A classifications will each have 30 percent of the schools. The NCHSAA made slight adjustments to the formula for the non-football-playing schools, which were added into the mix according to their ADM after the other schools were placed in the appropriate classifications.

The Southeastern conference, according to NCHSAA records, has been around since the 1969-70 academic year as a 3A conference. Members at that time were Bowman, Clinton, Dunn, Hamlet, Hoke County, Laurinburg, Lumberton, Pembroke, Pinecrest, Rockingham and Sanford.

When the NCHSAA realigned in 1973-74, Laurinburg High School became Scotland High School and moved up to the 4A classification along with Bowman, Richmond, Reid Ross, Terry Sanford and E.E. Smith. The remaining schools in the SEC were Clinton, Dunn, Hoke, Lumberton and Pinecrest.

In 1977-78 the Southeastern conference was done away with when its remaining members — Hoke, Lumberton, Richmond, Terry Sanford and Bowman — moved from 3A to 4A

The SEC returned in 1985 in the Class AAAA with Anson, Hoke, Lee County, Lumberton, Pinecrest, Richmond, Scotland and West Robeson as its members. Those members remained the same throughout 1993 when Lee County and West Robeson left and Purnell Swett joined the conference.

The conference underwent a new millennium update in the 2001-02 realignment as the name was slightly changed to the Mid-Southeastern conference because of the addition of Jack Britt, Douglas Byrd, Seventy-First and Westover and the departure of Anson, Lumberton and Purnell.

The current Southeastern conference landscape appeared in 2009 with Hoke, Lumberton, Pinecrest, Purnell Swett, Richmond and Scotland. The former members of the conference shifted to the Mid-South featuring Cape Fear, E.E. Smith, Jack Britt, Pine Forest, Seventy-First, South View and Terry Sanford.

With the dissolution of the Southeastern conference, the area schools will now usher in a new era as the Sandhills Athletic conference. The name is fitting considering the conference will now cover almost all of the Sandhills region that begins in Moore County and stretches down to Cheraw, South Carolina. The Fighting Scots will remain the six-time Southeastern conference champions and will now usher try to become the first team to win a Sandhills Athletic conference championship.

The Scots will open their Sandhills Athletic conference schedule on Sept. 22 against Jack Britt followed by at Purnell Swett on Sept. 29; Hoke County on Oct. 6; Seventy-First on Oct. 13; Pinecrest on Oct. 20; at Lumberton on Oct. 27 and home for Senior Night against Richmond on Nov. 3.

A brief history of the Southeastern conference:

1969-70 (3A)

Bowman, Clinton, Dunn, Hamlet, Hoke County, Laurinburg, Lumberton, Pembroke, Pinecrest, Rockingham and Sanford.

1973-74 (3A)

Clinton, Dunn, Hoke, Lumberton and Pinecrest.

Laurinburg High School became Scotland High School and moved to Division 4 in the 4A conference along with Bowman, Richmond, Reid Ross, Terry Sanford and E.E. Smith.

1977-78

Southeastern conference is done away with as Hoke, Lumberton, Richmond, Terry Sanford and Bowman move to 4A Division 4.

1985-86

The Southeastern conference returns has the state moves to Class AAAA football. The members included Anson, Hoke, Lee County, Lumberton, Pinecrest, Richmond, Scotland and West Robeson.

1989-90

The Southeastern conference holds steady in the 4A conference will the same eight schools.

1993-94

The Southeastern conference welcomes new a member in the mid 90s with Purnell Swett and says goodbye to Lee County and West Robeson.

1997-98

The conference remains the same as the 90s come to a close with Anson County, Hoke, Lumberton, Pinecrest, Purnell Swett, Richmond and Scotland.

2001-02

The early 2000s brought change to the conference, by slightly renaming it the Mid-Southeastern conference because of the addition of Jack Britt, Douglas Byrd, Seventy-First and Westover and the departure of Anson, Lumberton and Purnell.

2002-03

In the next round of realignments the Mid-Southeastern conference remained the same.

2005-09

The Mid-Southeastern conference again remained the same in the mid-2000s.

2009-present

The current Southeastern conference landscape appeared in 2009 with Hoke, Lumberton, Pinecrest, Purnell Swett, Richmond and Scotland. The former members of the conference shifted to the Mid-South featuring Cape Fear, E.E. Smith, Jack Britt, Pine Forest, Seventy-First, South View and Terry Sanford.

Amber Hatten can be reached at 910-506-3170.

Amber Hatten | Laurinburg Exchange The Fighting Scots along with the Southeastern conference’s six other teams — Hoke, Lumberton, Pinecrest, Purnell Swett and Richmond — will be joined by Jack Britt and Seventy-First to form the Sandhills Athletic conference at the start of the 2017-18 academic year.
http://www.laurinburgexchange.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_Playoffs.jpgAmber Hatten | Laurinburg Exchange The Fighting Scots along with the Southeastern conference’s six other teams — Hoke, Lumberton, Pinecrest, Purnell Swett and Richmond — will be joined by Jack Britt and Seventy-First to form the Sandhills Athletic conference at the start of the 2017-18 academic year.

http://www.laurinburgexchange.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_IMG_2656.jpg
Southeastern conference renamed Sandhills Athletic conference

By Amber Hatten

ahatten@civitasmedia.com

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