Fort Smith Schools Headed To Separate Conferences In 2020

FORT SMITH (KFSM) – The days of Northside and Southside meeting in the final game of the season for football, basketball and baseball are coming to an end in 2020. At least for now.

During the Arkansas Activities Association workshop on Wednesday, the new conference alignments for the upcoming 2020-2022 cycle were announced and the Fort Smith schools are being split up. Northside will stay in the 7A-Central for football and the 6A-Central for other sports while Southside will join the 7A-West for football and the 6A-West for other sports. Van Buren dropped down to 6A for the next cycle, forcing the two Fort Smith schools to be put in a difficult spot.

Northside and Southside have been in the same conference every season dating back to 1981, the first year they were in the same classfication (based on enrollment size).

Fort Smith athletics director Darren McKinney said that Northside will be in the Central conferences based on mileage. The Grizzlies are just slightly closer to the other seven Central conference members than Southside.

There has been no announcement when the annual football game, ‘The Battle of Rogers Avenue’, will be played. The schools could have it as the season opener or any of the other three options for non-conference play.

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