(Here’s how Jeff Linder from The Gazette-KCRG would complete the ongoing conference realignment issue for small schools throughout Eastern Iowa)
Thank you all for attending this meeting. Please grab a doughnut and some coffee on your way to your seat. Make yourselves comfortable; this shouldn’t take long.
I understand this has been a long process, and I thank you all for your patience. As you look around the room, you see many familiar faces — representatives from 10 schools from the Tri-Rivers Conference, nine schools from the Big East, eight schools from the Cedar Valley Conference, and one from Cedar Valley Christian School.
Wednesday, Carol Greta (general counsel for the Iowa Department of Education) made the call to reverse a mediation team’s decision to pull Anamosa out of the Wamac Conference, keeping that league at 16 teams.
Today, I’m going to make another reversal.
North Cedar, I hereby send you back to the Cedar Valley Conference. If my geography is correct, six schools from the CVC have part or all of their district in Cedar County. That being said, those six schools (North Cedar, Tipton, West Branch, West Liberty, Durant and Wilton), as well as Iowa City Regina and Mid-Prairie, shall remain together.
You are dismissed. Grab another doughnut for the road.
Starmont and Edgewood-Colesburg: With the rumblings of a Tri-Rivers/Big East merger, you have both made it clear that you would prefer to journey northward, to the Upper Iowa Conference. In fact, you’ve both been accepted by the UIC.
Know what? If you’re OK with ending your affiliation with the Tri-Rivers, I am too. The idea of substituting long trips to Clinton or Camanche with jaunts to Maynard and West Union in sensible.
Permission granted. You are dismissed.
(A nervous pause).
Eighteen schools remain, and several options. Three conferences? Two conferences?
Welcome to the East Central Iowa 18. Catchy, huh? No? Then you’re welcome to come up with a better name on your own.
Here’s your championship format:
Track, cross country and golf: Conference champion will be determined by a conference meet.
Wrestling — Schools that have it will compete for a conference-wide duals title. Conference tournament the week before sectionals.
Soccer and bowling – Schools that have it will compete in a conference-wide round robin.
Volleyball: Divisional play, 5 matches within your division. Conference commissioner will assign each school 6 interdivisional matches — 3 from each other division — on a rotating basis that do not count in divisional standings. Conference tournament will determine conference champion.
Baseball/softball: Divisional play, doubleheaders within your division for 10 divisional games. Conference commissioner will assign each school 8 interdivisonal games — 4 from each other division — on a rotating basis that do not count in divisional standings.
Boys basketball and girls basketball – Divisional play, double-round robin within your division for 10 divisional games. Conference commissioner will assign each school 6 interdivisional games — 3 from each other division — on a rotating basis that do not count in divisional standings. The remaining five games in your 21-game schedule can be teams from other divisions, or outside the conference.
With all that said, here are the three divisions of the East Central Iowa 18:
Big Bend Division – Bellevue, Camanche, Cascade, Maquoketa Valley, Monticello, Northeast.
Big East Division – Bellevue Marquette, Calamus-Wheatland, Cedar Valley Christian, Clinton Prince of Peace, Midland, Preston.
Tri-Rivers Division — Alburnett, Central City, East Buchanan, Lisbon, North Linn, Springville.
Welcome to your new home, and stick around a while.
You are dismissed.