The NCHSAA released its final draft of girls and boys lacrosse conferences this morning. The result will split up the Tri-Nine Conference in girls lacrosse, and add a long road trip for boys lacrosse.
With not as many schools participating in women's lacrosse, it was harder for the NCHSAA to keep together traditional conferences. As a result, Athens Drive has been separated from the Tri-Nine in girls lacrosse.
Athens will join Broughton, Enloe, Cardinal Gibbons and Wakefield in "Conference 3."
Holly Springs, Panther Creek, Middle Creek, Green Hope, Cary and three-time state champion Apex were grouped in "Conference 2."
In boys lacrosse, seven Tri-Nine lacrosse-playing teams (everyone but Lee County and Fuquay-Varina) were kept together. But an eighth team was added to the mix in Triton, located just outside of Dunn, N.C.
Triton will complete the eight-team "Conference 2," and with it, bring a travel time of no less than 27.6 miles (from Holly Springs High).
According to Google maps, the fastest route from Panther Creek to Triton is an hour and eight minutes. That's if the Catamounts take the interstate, which would also mean a 64-mile one-way trip. The shortest route for Panther Creek (which is the farthest area school from Triton) would shave about 20 miles, but add 20 minutes.
This marks the longest commute any area school has had to make since Western Harnett was a member of the Tri-Seven Conference in 2004-05. Green Hope High and Western were separated by 56 miles.