Too many high schools in the county

Timothy Ramsey

Too many high schools in the county
December 19
04:00 2019

Last week I wrote an article about the students in Forsyth County having their choice of schools and how it has enhanced some programs, while decimating others. That article sparked a lot of debate on social media and was followed by many interesting comments and messages.

Over the last few years, a few things have bothered me about sports in Forsyth County high schools, so I decided to speak on them. Along with choice schools, the large number of high schools in Forsyth County is not helping at all.

There are 15 high schools in Forsyth County, but 12 that participate in sports. I think that is too many for Forsyth County, in my opinion. I feel if they brought that number down to 8 or 9, it would benefit everyone.

Only one Forsyth County school has over 2,000 students and that is West Forsyth with 2,333. Second and third on the list are Reagan and East Forsyth, with 1,947 and 1,786, respectively. The numbers continue to drop drastically after that for the remaining high schools.

As expected, the schools at the top of the list are the ones who typically do well in athletics, especially team sports. It’s no secret that if you have more players at your disposal, you’re more likely to have more athletes and better depth.

As I have stated in previous articles, I graduated high school in northern Virginia. My senior year, we had a student enrollment of over 2,500 students and as you can imagine, we were very good in most sports. The same could be said for nearly every school in our county since most of the schools had over 2,000 students or very close to that number.

My high school won the Virginia 3A state championship in 1998 and 1999, going undefeated both seasons. Yes, we were a good team with double digit DI and DII athletes, but we were that good because of our depth.

We went at least three deep at most positions, with little to no drop off. Our second team offense and defense could have been a playoff team by themselves. That was due to the numbers that we boasted on our sidelines. We had nearly 90 players on our team, thanks to our high enrollment.

There are a few schools in Forsyth County that have those numbers, but others do not. There are some tremendous athletes spread across this county and some are stuck on bad teams because they don’t have the numbers. Some schools can’t even field a junior varsity team due to not having enough players, which is sad.

Just think –  if they dropped the number of high schools to eight or even nine, how much better the talent distribution would be. How do you think many of those teams that have only one or two high schools in the county compete every year? I’ll answer that for you: they have the numbers to do so.

I sometimes wonder why certain high schools were built, because it doesn’t make sense to me. I am not going to name any schools, but why build two high schools in such close proximity to an established one? What did they think was going to be the end result? I am not just talking about taking the best athletes, but many of the best academic students are gone as well.  

I must ask: how did they think the established high school was going to maintain success in the classroom and on the field of play if they took the best and brightest?  

It just doesn’t make sense to me to have a school with over 2,000 students and one on the other side of town with less than 700. What is the point and where is the equity?

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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