WIAA board of control approves realignment plan

WIAA board of control approves realignment plan

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WIAA board of control approves realignment plan

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The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association’s board of control took another big step Friday toward a conference realignment plan for Northeastern Wisconsin.

The plan, approved 6-2, involves 76 schools and would be implemented for the 2015-16 school year. But schools affected by the plan have until Jan. 15 to appeal to the board of control to reject it.

The board of control’s final action will be Jan. 29, when it will either accept or reject the plan. However, no further modifications will be allowed.

The board of control had the opportunity to make changes prior to voting Friday in Stevens Point, but chose not to do so. The final plan was put together by WIAA associate director Deb Hauser.

“You have 80-plus schools involved in it,” said Kiel principal Corey Baumgartner, who represents District 4 on the WIAA board of control. “When you alter it, you don’t have a lot of time to take a look at all the information and where all those ripples go when you start switching around something that large.”

If approved, which is likely to happen, this will be the first large-scale realignment plan for the area since the 2007-08 school year.

One of the contributing factors in the WIAA’s decision to again undertake area conference realignment were requests at WIAA area meetings in 2011 and 2012 by Green Bay East and Green Bay West to be moved from the Fox River Classic Conference to the Bay Conference.

That change was in all three versions of realignment plans that Hauser presented to schools this year and is reflected in the final plan, which features a 10-team FRCC — including Sheboygan North and Sheboygan South — and eight schools in the Bay for all sports, in addition to Waupaca for football.

“We’re happy with the vote,” Green Bay East athletic director Tim Flood said. “It’s not an easy decision, and we understand that not everybody is happy, but for Green Bay East and Green Bay West it’s what we’ve wanted. It’s going to help us compete for all of our levels and that’s the most important thing for our kids.”

Following the presentation of a second realignment plan at the WIAA area meeting Sept. 25 at Fox Valley Lutheran High School, Hauser took feedback to form the final version.

One of the conferences in the realignment plan features four teams from the Olympian combining with the Central Lakeshore to form a 14-team league, with 11 teams playing 11-player football.

The CLC, making up nine area schools, will be joined by current Olympian teams Hilbert, Manitowoc Lutheran, Mishicot, Reedsville and Menasha St. Mary Central.

The Eastern Wisconsin Conference will lose Plymouth, plus three other teams. Local schools Sheboygan Falls, Kiel and New Holstein, plus Two Rivers, will remain in the EWC and will be adding Brillion, Chilton, Roncalli and Valders from the Olympian.

Plymouth, meanwhile, will be moved into a new, unnamed conference, that will also include former EWC rivals Campbellsport, Kewaskum and Waupun, as well as Berlin, Ripon, Winneconne and Kettle Moraine Lutheran.

It’s likely realignment will remain a topic of discussion at future fall area meetings.

“I believe more schools will be asking for realignment consideration as we move forward,” Hauser said. “How often is hard to tell. But as schools change in size and the ability to draw kids out for a sport, it really changes how they feel about their situation in a given conference.”

Sheboygan Press Media contributed to this report.

PROPOSED CONFERENCES FEATURING AREA TEAMS

PROPOSED CONFERENCES FEATURING AREA TEAMS

FRCC

Ashwaubenon (1,019 enrollment)

Bay Port (1,739)

De Pere (1,290)

Green Bay Preble (2,160)

Green Bay Southwest (1,207)

Manitowoc (1,570)

Green Bay Notre Dame (759)

Pulaski (1,132)

Sheboygan North (1,709)

Sheboygan South (1,395)

EWC

Brillion (318)

Chilton (373)

Kiel (447)

New Holstein (341)

Manitowoc Roncalli (358)

Sheboygan Falls (538)

Two Rivers (531)

Valders (346)

Olympian/CLC

Cedar Grove-Belgium (319)

Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah (140)

Hilbert (173)

Howards Grove (284)

Kohler (161)

Manitowoc Lutheran (232)

Mishicot (289)

Oostburg (327)

Ozaukee (221)

Random Lake (311)

Reedsville (217)

Menasha St. Mary’s (230)

Sheboygan Lutheran (144)

Sheboygan Christian (98)

New Conference

Berlin (527)

Campbellsport (470)

Kettle Moraine Lutheran (428)

Kewaskum (596)

Plymouth (797)

Ripon (585)

Waupun (593)

Winneconne (484)

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