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Prep football: State releases enrollment figures

From Staff Reports

sports@salisburypost.com

The N.C. High School Athletic Association released its official Average Daily Membership numbers, which determine whether teams will play in the larger or smaller brackets in their respective classification.

The state divides its four classifications into two brackets when it comes to football playoffs. The larger bracket — 1AA, 2AA, 3AA, 4AA — is made up of the largest 32 playoff-qualifying teams, and the smaller bracket — 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A — is comprised of the smallest 32 playoff qualifiers.

There is a huge showdown in the Central Carolinas Conference on Friday night between North Rowan (8-2, 4-0) and Salisbury (5-5, 4-0). The winner gets the league’s championship and its No. 1 seed for the upcoming playoffs.

The Hornets, assuming they make the postseason, could go to either the 2A or 2AA playoffs. Salisbury, with an enrollment of 805 students, has a larger enrollment than 39 2A high schools, but it is outside the bottom 32 schools in the class.

North Rowan, regardless of what happens Friday, will be in the 2A bracket. It is the smallest public high school in Rowan County with just 694 students and is in the bottom 10 in the state in the 2A ranks.

The largest high school in the county is Carson with an enrollment of 1,229 students. The Cougars (4-6, 3-4 SPC) find themselves on the bubble when it comes to the playoffs and where they could potentially go. Going into the final week of the regular season, Carson sits in sixth place in the nine-team South Piedmont Conference. It is also right in the middle of the 3A class as far as enrollment. There are 36 teams that could potentially go to 3A or 3AA depending on who qualifies. Carson is ranked 18th in that group when it comes to numbers.

If both qualify, West Rowan (1,081 students) and East Rowan (1,053) are expected to go to the 3A bracket. The Falcons (6-4, 4-3 SPC) are in a three-way tie with the Mustangs (5-5, 4-3 SPC) and Cox Mill (5-5, 4-3 SPC) ahead of Friday’s finales. The Falcons take on the second-place Hickory Ridge Ragin’ Bulls (9-1, 6-1) while the Mustangs host South Rowan (2-8, 1-6).

Davie County is another one of those high schools that could go either 4A or 4AA. The War Eagles (6-4, 2-3 CPC) should make the playoffs, but Davie County is the 55th largest high school in the 4A classification with 1,792 students.

A.L. Brown (5-5, 3-3 Mecka) is in fourth place in the Mecka as it heads to finish off the regular season, and its 1,460 enrollment puts it near the bottom of the 4A classification. The Wonders, assuming they make the postseason, will go to the 4A bracket.

NOTES

Speaking of that North Rowan at Salisbury game on Friday, advance tickets for the game are available at Salisbury High starting Wednesday. The price for an advance ticket is $6. …The largest high school in the state is South Mecklenburg with 2,937 students. The smallest high school in the state is Mattamuskeet Early College in Hyde County. The enrollment is 126 students. …The top 32 schools in the ADMs all have more than 2,000 students. …The largest 3A school is Southern Durham with 1,779 students. It has 600 more students than the smallest 4A school. Rolesville High, northeast of Raleigh, has 1,179 students. …Gastonia Huss, the largest 2A school, has almost 200 more students than East Henderson, the smallest 3A school. …Kipp Pride is the largest 1A school at 1,043 students. The smallest 2A school is South Stokes with 633 students.

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