The Virginia High School League's Executive Committee has denied Bethel's appeal to remain a member of Division 6.
The VHSL announces its divisions every two years, and earlier this month the Bruins were placed in Division 5 because of the school's enrollment. There are 39 Group AAA schools in the Eastern Region, and the VHSL draws a line at the median point of the enrollment list.
The VHSL's guidelines say that if there's an odd number, such as in this case, the larger number of schools will be in the smaller division. And Bethel with 1,836 students, according to the VHSL's data was the last one out of Division 6 and the first one in D-5.
Bethel appealed the ruling in a letter sent by principal John Bailey on Sept. 1.
Four Peninsula District schools Woodside, Gloucester, Menchville and Kecoughtan are in Division 6. The other six Bethel, Warwick, Heritage, Denbigh, Hampton and Phoebus are Division 5.