Conference changes coming for Carroll Co. teams
The Arkansas Activities Association (AAA) recently announced its conference realignments for the 2016-2018 cycle. While Berryville's 4A-1 conference will stay the same, Green Forest's 3A-1 and Eureka Springs' 2A-4 West will look much different.
Clinton and Melbourne have been added to the 3A-1 in all sports while West Fork and Cedarville have been dropped. Clinton moves down from Class 4A and Melbourne comes over from 3A-3. West Fork is moving up to Class 4A and Cedarville is moving to 3A-4.
"The competition level certainly won't drop off," Green Forest Athletic Director Bobby Bishop said. "The travel is a little bit worse and with what Clinton is doing down there, it is sure to be a challenge for us."
In basketball, Cotter and Flippin are moving down to 2A and because Melbourne was already a part of 3A-1 East in basketball, the conference will now have eight schools.
"We just have to worry about improving," Green Forest girls basketball coach Kyle Farrar said. "We will get out there and play whoever is on the court."
Eureka Springs will have a major adjustment to make in the 2A-4 West. Four new teams are being added to the conference, including Danville and Lavaca, both of which will be moving down from 3A.
"It is tough for us," Eureka Springs Athletic Director Brian Rambo said. "The two new teams that are moving down from 3A are very talented. Getting to the regional tournament will be a great accomplishment with the new alignment."
Rambo added that the new alignment will force the Highlanders to travel farther as well.
"All trips, except Mountainburg, are two-plus hours," Rambo said. "The AAA did us no favors with this."
The other two teams joining 2A-4 are the Arkansas Arts Academy and J.D. Leftwich. Teams dropping out of the conference include Decatur, Hartford, Magazine and Union Christian Academy.
While the 4A-1 is staying the same, Berryville Athletic Director John McClellan said the realignment could affect the Bobcats' non-conference schedule.
"With Decatur being a 2A school, we have to find a way to boost our non-conference schedule," McClellan said. "Now that we can travel out of state it would be great to get a game with one of the Missouri schools."