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WIAA advances several football-only conference realignment proposals to next steps

12/09/2020, 7:45pm CST
By Travis Wilson

At the first WIAA Conference Realignment Task Force meeting for the 2022-23 cycle, the group gave support to advancing several proposals, all of which were modifications from the initial plans submitted by the schools themselves.

In all, 18 schools had initially requested realignment, and several late submissions were also considered. All requests and proposals would be implemented beginning in the 2022 season, if approved.

Requests that were not selected for advancement included those from Ashland, Hayward, Marinette, Oshkosh North and Oshkosh West, and West Allis Central and West Allis Hale. Those schools may appeal the decision at the January 6 Task Force meeting. 

Submitted plans, which were modified from their original proposals, that were advanced included Horicon/Hustisford, Pardeeville, River Falls, West Salem, Sun Prairie East, Sun Prairie West, De Soto, Lake Holcombe, Niagara, and Goodman/Pembine.

However, because those proposals include adjustments in multiple conferences, the potential changes could impact a much larger swath of the WIAA membership due to the domino effect. All told, 21 conferences in 11-Player football saw some kind of adjustment.

All of the plans selected for advancement will be reviewed at the January 6 meeting, where impacted schools can provide feedback. If support at that meeting, they would go to the WIAA Board of Control for final approval at its January 27 meeting.

Below is a full list of proposed changes, including those teams that did not request realignment but are moved to accommodate other changes.

Impact of 8-Player Requests on 11-Player Conferences

  • Pittsville would move from the CWC-Small to the Marawood
  • The Marawood and CWC-Small would be left with just six teams; the conferences would pair up for two crossover games per team that would count in the standings, with all teams ending up with seven conference games

Impact of De Soto move to 8-Player

  • De Soto would move from the Ridge & Valley to 8-Player football
  • Iowa-Grant would move from the Six Rivers to the Ridge & Valley
  • The seven-team Ridge & Valley would play a crossover game with the Scenic Bluffs
  • Lancaster would move from the SWAL to the SWC
  • The seven-team SWC (see New Glarus move under Pardeeville & Horicon/Hustisford plan) would maintain its one crossover game with the South Central
  • The now six-team Six Rivers would play two crossover games with the now six-team SWAL

Impact of Pardeeville and Horicon/Hustisford moves

  • Pardeeville would move from the Eastern Suburban to the Trailways
  • Wayland Academy would not be offering 11-player football, which would leave the Trailways as an eight-team league
  • Watertown Luther Prep would move from the Capitol to the Midwest Classic
  • HOPE Christian is dropping football, so the Midwest Classic would remain an eight-team league
  • Horicon/Hustisford moves from the Capitol to the Eastern Suburban, which would remain an eight-team league
  • New Glarus/Monticello moves from the SWC to the Capitol
  • Edgewood moves from the Rock Valley to the Capitol, which would remain an eight-team league

Impact of Sun Prairie East and West moves

  • Sun Prairie East (formerly Sun Prairie, a member of the Big Eight) and Sun Prairie West (new school) would be placed in the Badger-Large, which would become a seven-team league and crossover with the Badger-Small
  • Janesville Craig and Janesville Parker would move from the Badger-Large to the Big Eight (in documentation from the Sun Prairie proposal, these schools did not support this move), with the Big Eight remaining an eight-team league
  • DeForest would move from the Badger-Large to the Badger-Small, which would become a seven-team league and crossover with the Badger-Small
  • Beloit Memorial would move from the Big Eight to the Southern Lakes, which would remain an eight-team league
  • Delavan-Darien would move from the Southern Lakes to the Rock Valley, which would remain an eight-team league

Impact of West Salem and River Falls moves

  • West Salem would move from the Mississippi Valley to the Coulee, which would become an eight-team league
  • River Falls would move from the Mississippi Valley to the Big Rivers, which would remain an eight-team league
  • Rice Lake would move from the Big Rivers to the Middle Border, which would become an eight-team league
  • Reedsburg and Baraboo would move from the Badger-Small to the Mississippi Valley, which would remain an eight-team league

8-Player Football changes

In addition to the four schools that requested to move by the original deadline, several other programs put in requests to change to 8-Player football beginning in 2022. The list of teams requesting to go to 8-Player are:

Athens
Almond-Bancroft
Cornell
De Soto
Goodman/Pembine
Lake Holcombe
Niagara
Owen-Withee
Thorp
Valley Christian School (Osceola)

As a result of these changes, the Task Force reviewed all 8-Player conferences. To view the new, proposed 8-Player Conference assignments (beginning in 2022), please click here.


About the Author

Travis Wilson serves as the WisSports.net General Manager, Football Editor, and contributing writer for other parts of the site. Wilson was selected as part of the Sports 40 Under 40 list by Coach & AD Magazine and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association for 2019. The Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) named Travis the 2015 recipient of the Dave McClain Distinguished Service Award. He currently serves on the WFCA Executive Board as the Website and Communications Director and is a member of the Executive Board of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association. A graduate of Richland Center High School and Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Travis was a three-sport athlete in high school (football, baseball, basketball) and currently resides in Reedsburg. You can follow him on Twitter at @travisWSN.

For the latest and most up to date football news and recruiting information, follow Travis on Twitter @travisWSN. Email story ideas, recruiting info, etc. to Travis at travis(at)wissports.net.

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