New realignment plan puts St. James in 5A in 2018-20

The South Carolina High School League has released its initial realignment plans for the 2018-19 and 2019-2020 season, and one Grand Strand school is scheduled to take a giant leap up in class.

The rapidly growing St. James High, which was promoted to Class 4A last season, is set to move up to Class 5A following this season. The Sharks would join local rivals Carolina Forest, Conway, and Socastee in Region 5-5A, along with Pee Dee power programs Sumter, South Florence and West Florence.

Meanwhile, Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach will remain at the Class 4A in a newly created and highly rated Region 6-4A. The six-team region will include existing region rivals Wilson and Marlboro County while adding Pee Dee powerhouses Hartsville and Darlington.

The step up in classification will represent a significant challenge for the struggling Sharks football program. St. James will be one of the smallest schools in Class 5A and would face larger schools and stronger programs on a weekly basis. First-year football coach Joey Price will have his hands full to get the Sharks ready for the tougher competition.

Based on school enrollment figures and geography, the new realignment plan creates larger regions by reducing the number of regions per class to seven in Class 4A and 5A. Schools will be able to appeal the new realignment plan before it is finalized.

Photo by Prep Stars Media

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