Pirates, Bruins ruled the Coastal 10 Conference


By Malcolm Shields
Sports Editor

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Over the past four years, Camden and Perquimans were arguably the top two athletic programs in the Coastal 10 Conference.

With the 10-team league dissolving this summer, both 1A schools have a new home for at least the next four seasons in the 1A Albemarle Athletic Conference.

During the cycle of the league, both schools racked up conference titles to go with numerous all-conference and player of the year selections.

The 2016-17 season was fruitful for both schools as both split league titles in volleyball, boys basketball and softball.

Perquimans won a league title in baseball, while Camden added crowns in boys and girls track and field, along with boys and girls cross country.

The conference definitely was not perfect.

Start with the size of the league.

With 10 schools, the Coastal 10 was one of the largest conferences in the state.

The geography of the league reached from as far west as Plymouth to Cape Hatteras to the east.

That led to a taxing travel schedule for both schools. It was normal to see volleyball, baseball or softball schedule doubleheaders with a conference opponent at one site to limit travel.

Oh, and don't forget about the ferry ride to Ocracoke.

With teams required to play conference games, it left little space for both schools to schedule a healthy and competitive non-conference slate.

That will change staring in August.

With Camden and Perquimans in the AAC, which will have six teams, both athletic programs will have more flexibility in scheduling.

For example, instead of being forced to face an over matched Columbia, Creswell or Mattamuskeet as a conference matchup twice, Perquimans and Camden volleyball can now travel to a tournament in Greenville or welcome in competitive teams from Hampton Roads region.

The AAC, which will also include John A. Holmes with some of the more competitive schools from the Coastal 10 in Gates, Manteo and Plymouth, will be more competitive and more giving on travel for Perquimans and Camden.

The Aces dropped down from Class 2A to 1A.

Although you got to believe that Camden and Perquimans will not miss the travel associated with the Coastal 10, the level of success by both schools in the league will be missed.