D.C. is realigning its high school football teams to make them more competitive.
D.C.'s Public Schools are restructuring their athletic conference to allow more teams a chance to play competitive football during the next school year.
In the past, DCPS football teams were divided geographically: East and West. But Stephanie Evans, the Director of Athletics says there weren't an equal number of schools in those divisions, so some teams didn't get a chance to play much.
"Under the previous format, four teams got to play for our annual Turkey Bowl," Evans says. "That really shut out eight schools."
Evans says they've now created two new subdivisions with names from the District flag. The Stars or Power Division will include Anacostia, Ballou, Coolidge, Dunbar, HD Woodson, and Wilson High Schools. They will compete in the Turkey Bowl. The Stripes Division will include Bell, Cardozo, Eastern, Phelps, McKinley Tech and Roosevelt High Schools. They'll now be able to compete in their own championship.
Evans says they matched teams based on how they played over the past five years, not by school size.
"We could not simply rely on enrollment alone," Evans says. "We have Wilson High School which has 1800 students that's super competitive in many sports and then we can take a school like Dunbar who has slightly over 500 students and they have always excelled in the sport of football."
Evans says this reorganization won t cost any additional money but says it will generate money by creating quality games and increasing fan support.
DCPS spends approximately $5 million on athletics.