www.baltimoresun.com/explore/howard/sports/ph-ho-cf-hs-bits-1122-20121119,0,6742036.story

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Bits & Pieces: Proposed realignment has several county schools on the move

By Stan Ber, howardcountysports@patuxent.com

8:09 PM EST, November 19, 2012

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The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association Classification Committee met on Nov. 1 and has recommended some changes to the current high school alignment for the 2013-2015 seasons.

Looking at the current geographic clusters, including the 3A East region for many sports that included several Eastern Shore schools along with those from Howard County, realigning was necessary. When making these recommendations, the committee takes into consideration travel requirements and economic concerns.

A school's spot in 1A, 2A, 3A or 4A is based on school population.

The biggest change in regards to our county schools in the new proposed alignment is the movement of Howard, the largest of the county's 12 public schools, up to 4A North. This makes Howard, with an enrollment of over 1,300 students, the first to make the move to 4A from Howard County.

The 3A East region will still feature county holdovers Atholton, Centennial, Mt. Hebron, Reservoir, River Hill and Wilde Lake. Glenelg and Long Reach will be making the move up from 2A to make eight county schools in the 3A East region, while Baltimore City schools Digital Harbor, City and Poly round things out.

The county's last three schools, Hammond, Marriotts Ridge and Oakland Mills will be in the 2A South region.

Another change under the proposal will be each region being broken down into two sections, with the sectional winners coming together to compete for the regional championship.

It is important to note that the proposal detailed above still needs to be approved by the MPSSAA Board of Control in December. All recommendations, though, are expected to pass.

It's also important to remember that this is a long and complicated process that the classification committee does every couple years. It's never perfect, but everything is done with the student athlete's best interests at heart. I say well done on a tough job.

College success

I always encourage our readers to keep us informed about what some of our former high school athletes are up to after they've moved on to college. There are plenty of success stories.

With that in mind, I thought I would highlight a few former ice hockey standouts from the county that are playing at the next level.

Nicholas Bogdash, one of the captains for Atholton when it went on to win the 2012 Maryland Scholastic Hockey League State Championship, is now playing for the Penn State Berks. The team is a Division I member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association.

Harrison Colby, a captain of the Centennial ice hockey team as a senior last winter, is now playing at West Virginia. Elliott Tarash, an assistant captain for Atholton last year, is a freshman on the team at Salisbury University.

Issuing thanks

I want to step out of my role as a sports columnist for a minute before 2012 becomes a memory. This has been a difficult year for me personally and it has made me stop and think about things. I'd like to thank all those people who have made a difference in my life, including my parents, my wife, my relatives, my extended family, my friends, my teachers, the staff on this newspaper and the police and firemen who keep us all safe. And yes, I'd even like to acknowledge my pets, whose numbers were diminished by an important one this month.

Try to be more tolerant of others and show kindness whenever you can. Most importantly, keep your family close.