A lot of flux within the AA ranks in Southwest Virginia from about 1995 onward, and there was a lot of shifting to keep Region IV somewhat intact as a functioning entity.
Since the Highlands had dwindled to three members with AA enrollment numbers at the time, the SWD was essentially Lee's only option back in 2007. But travel times to/from Ben Hur were essentially prohibitive. The shortest trip (Abingdon) was about an hour and a half. The longest at the time (Carroll County) was about a three hour trip. So the argument for a geographic hardship made a lot of sense. Abingdon and Marion both came back into the SWD at that time (again, out of necessity), but Lee successfully opted out.
About ten years prior to that, the New River District folded when Radford finally dropped to Single A (the Bobcats had been "playing up" in a manner similar to Graham for many years by that point) and left only three teams remaining. That's how Carroll County came into the SWD -- which was probably never a great fit either way. There was talk of bringing Blacksburg and Christiansburg in as well (which apparently had strong support on the SWD side), but those schools opted to align with similar sized traveling partners toward the direction of Roanoke.
All of that maneuvering was the inevitable result of declining enrollment across Southwest Virginia. The New River District was the bellwether during the 1980's for what eventually happened further west. The VHSL's new four classification alignment could conceivably settle things in the region for a long time to come.