When the 2014-15 school year kicks off with fall sports later this week, there will be different opponents and different schedules to tackle for West St. Louis County public school sports teams.
As part of a massive conference realignment that began back in 2010, schools from West County will have new conference homes in this school year.
The old Suburban North, South, East and West Conference will be gone. There will be three mega-conferences that will take their place in the form of the Suburban Central, the Suburban XII, and Suburban West.
The new alignment is part of the St. Louis Public High School Athletic and Activities Association (SLSPHSAA), which is governing the new conferences and their member school athletic programs.
According to the SLSPHSAA, among key reasons for the realignment were fact that nothing had changed in decades to adjust the school conferences based on changing school enrollments, and many changes of various sports.
The realignment helps address those issues in a meaningful way.
In the Suburban Central Conference there will be an American and National Division. In the National Division, Parkway West and Parkway Central will reside with Clayton, University City, and Ladue.
In the Suburban VII, the South Division will get West County representation in the form of Parkway North.
Joining Parkway North in the South Division will be Rockwood Summit, Webster Groves, Kirkwood, and Pattonville.
The last Suburban conference in the new conference structure will be the Suburban West.
Similar to the Suburban Central, the Suburban West will be split into the American and National Divisions.
Parkway South, Eureka, Lafayette, Lindbergh, and Marquette are in the American Division.
In addition, new conference alignment in the Suburban West also allows Lafayette and Marquette to keep their longstanding rivarly between the two neighboring Rockwood schools in place.
Fox, Oakville, Mehville, Northwest, and Seckman comprise the National Division of the conference.