Mason moving up to 3A

Pictograph of new bus ride schedule

Mason has always been a small and tight-knit school – it’s part of what makes us one of the best schools in Virginia. Yet as more families move to Falls Church, our school is getting bigger and bigger. In order to compensate for the growth of the student body at Mason, our school will need to start competing against bigger schools.

Starting in the fall of 2019, George Mason will go from a 2A school to a 3A school in the Virginia High School League (VHSL).

This classification is found by the number of students enrolled at Mason. In June 2018, when the VHSL evaluated the number of students enrolled at Mason, they decided that Mason’s student enrollment numbers are well in the 3A range. At the moment, according to VHSL officials that have spoken to GMHS Athletic Director Julie Bravin, Mason’s projected classification for the 2019-2020 school year is solidly in the 3A range.

We are the only school in our district, The Bull Run District, other than Central High School (Woodstock, VA), that is changing classifications. 

When Mason goes to a new district, it will be the Northwestern district, which features teams we should be familiar with, such as former longtime Mason rival, Brentsville High School and Warren County.

At the moment, both Mason lacrosse teams compete in the Dulles District, Mason field hockey doesn’t have a district, and the rest of our sports compete in the Bull Run District. By switching into the Northwestern district, all of our teams will compete in the same district. 

It’s hard to say if competition within sports will get harder because, even though one sport may face tougher competition, another sport may face easier competition.

“Overall, I would say that the competition is comparable to what we’re facing now,” said Bravin.

Looking at the current Northwestern district, there is a group of 4A schools and a group of 3A schools that may compete against each other. This means that Mason will play the 3A schools and have the option of playing any 4A schools if we choose to.

One other significant change is that most bus trips to away games for teams will be shorter. The schools in the new Northwestern district are likely to be closer in proximity than schools in Mason’s current districts.

“I think it’s better because we have more time to do school work,” said freshman varsity athlete, Ashley Zigler.

George Mason is set to experience a lot of changes in the upcoming years and the sports program is going to be a part of that. Moving up to 3A will be a new experience for the Mustangs and only time will tell what this means for our teams.