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SCC conference could join SWC

By Staff | Sep 15, 2013

The Blue Earth Area School Board talked sports at their Sept. 9 meeting.

The board members discussed the idea of combining the South Central Conference with the Southwest Conference.

Superintendent Evan Gough, School Board member Jesse Haugh, principal Rich Schneider and athletic director Rob Norman attended a meeting in St. James on Aug. 21 to discuss the idea with representatives from the other schools.

“We had an uneasy feeling about it because it’s not easy to travel to Marshall to play a game on a Tuesday night,”?Gough explains.

The group met again about two weeks later and felt, as the details continue to get worked out, the idea could be more feasible.

“I don’t want to stray away from what’s important here,”?Haugh says.

He feels the farther student athletes have to travel for games, the more time that is taken away from classroom hours and homework.

However, that was a general opinion among the other schools at the meeting, as well.

SCC?consists of BEA, Fairmont, New Ulm, St. James, St. Peter and Waseca. SWC schools include Jackson County Central, Luverne, Marshall, Pipestone Area, Redwood Valley, Windom and Worthington.

The proposed plan is to combine those conferences and then divide it into two divisions based on travel time.

“The athletes would play two games against each team within their school’s respective division,”?Gough explains.

He says the teams could participate in cross-over games or meets where the top teams face each other.

“Maybe the top teams and the second-place teams in each division could play at the end of their season,” Gough says.

Joint-conference games would be scheduled for sports such as football, tennis, cross country and track.

The other sports would stay within their division during the regular season, including volleyball, basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, baseball, softball and golf.

“Then the football games could be split into the ‘bigs’ and ‘smalls,'”?Gough says.

The schedules could be based off the size of the school.

The idea of having the Minnesota State High School League take over football scheduling got the two conferences talking about merging.

“If they do the scheduling in the future, us merging is going to help us have a little say in who we would play,”?Gough explains.

If they don’t, then the board feels as though they would go right back to playing the same teams they have been.

And, combining the two conferences would not only improve sports scheduling, it would increase opportunity for fine arts such as speech, choral fest, band, orchestra and knowledge bowl.

They hope to continue moving forward with this plan.

“This is all early but we plan to move relatively fast,”?he says.

They want to work on a draft and request approval to leave the SCC by the November School Board meeting and enter the new conference.

“It is our goal to have this in place by fall 2014,” Gough says.