APPLETON — The WIAA held an area meeting Wednesday at Fox Valley Lutheran and the major topic of talk was realignment.
The WIAA proposed the Green Bay Realignment Plan, which includes 17 area schools moving to new conferences.
Among those schools not included in the plan were Ashwaubenon and Pulaski, which both mentioned they wouldn’t mind leaving the Fox River Classic Conference because their enrollments don’t match up well with most of the league.
Athletic directors Dave Steavpack (Ashwaubenon) and Jerad Marsh (Pulaski) spoke briefly about a move but neither seemed ready to beat down a door. The FRCC is already expected to lose Green Bay East and Green Bay West to the Bay Conference and that is where Ashwaubenon and Pulaski would prefer to compete.
This would leave the FRCC with eight schools, if this would occur and would put the remainder of the league in a bind as far as scheduling nonconference football games.
"I do tend to agree with the bigger schools in the FRCC that if they were made an eight (-school league) it would require them to go a long ways to find nonconference football games,” said Deb Hauser, associate director of the WIAA. “I'm comfortable with the proposal I put forward for a 10-team FRCC. I don’t get the sense Ashwaubenon and Pulaski are adamantly opposed to being part of that conference at this point."
"If you look at the schools in the northern part of the state in our area, we really have 20 schools that have large populations,” Preble athletics director Dan Retzki said. “It would be very difficult ( to schedule nonconference football games).
“The 10-team is a perfect conference. It’s proven in the FVA.”
Meanwhile, Xavier feels it’s proven the best place to keep the Hawks is in the Eastern Valley Conference with traditional rivals Fox Valley Lutheran, Freedom and Little Chute. Xavier is being moved to the Bay, and in a letter written by athletics director Kathy Bates she outlined enrollment, travel and rivalries as reasons Xavier should remain the EVC.
There seemed to be an issue with Waupaca remaining in the EVC. Bates said miles traveled on average for Waupaca in the EVC is 72.1 miles while for Xavier it’s 39.8.
Hauser said a reason for Xavier moving to the Bay and not Waupaca is Xavier is located in more of a major area compared to Waupaca.
"It seems foolish to be traveling past Fox Valley Lutheran, Freedom, Little Chute, even Wrightstown now who's in the conference, to go to the new proposed conference schools," Bates said.
While the realignment includes all sports there was no question Wednesday what is driving this – football.
"I think the questions start with football, but then schools have to look at all their sports to make sure they align with schools that can meet those needs as well," Retzki said.
“That’s why several years ago we had the district plan,” Hauser said. “We felt that was a way to put similar size schools together, because that seems to be what people can accept. The football coaches are working on things to maybe look at that again and come up with something that maybe schools can come to an agreement on.”
An unexpected turn was taken with the realignment of the Olympian-Packerland. The proposed plan was to have 14 schools, but travel was an issue.
Members of the Central Lakeshore Conference, which includes the likes of Oostburg, Ozaukee and Howards Grove, amongst others, attended the meeting and came up with a proposal.
The CLC suggested Hilbert, Manitowoc Lutheran, Mishicot, Reedsville and St. Mary Central — members of the O-P in the proposal — join the CLC to make a 14-team league with divisions. Hauser liked the proposal.
The O-P would then have eight teams: Algoma, Gibraltar, N.E.W. Lutheran, Kewaunee, Oconto, Sevastopol, Sturgeon Bay and Southern Door.
Oneida Nation was part of the new Olympian-Packerland but instead might go to the M&O.
There was plenty of discussion Wednesday and the WIAA will send out a final proposal to schools Oct. 11. Then it will be up for consideration at the Dec. 6 Board of Control meeting.
Local teams proposed to move to new conference
Green Bay East FRCC to Bay
Green Bay West FRCC to Bay
Hortonville Bay to FVA
Menasha FVA to Bay
Denmark Bay to Eastern Valley
Luxemburg-Casco Bay to Eastern Valley
Marinette Bay to Eastern Valley
Oconto Falls Bay to Eastern Valley
Wrightstown O-P Large to Eastern Valley
Brillion O-P Large to Eastern Wisconsin
Chilton O-P Large to Eastern Wisconsin
Roncalli O-P Large to Eastern Wisconsin
Valders O-P Large to Eastern Wisconsin
Berlin Eastern Valley to New Conference
Ripon Eastern Valley to New Conference
Winneconne Eastern Valley to New Conference
Oneida Nation to Olympian Packerland
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay
It was a scary situation today for one Winnebago County sheriff's deputy after responding to a crash along Highway 41.
A Greenleaf dairy farm says it has fired two employees and barred a third from handling animals after video shot by an undercover activist showed workers hitting, kicking, stabbing and whipping cows.
On Wednesday, a state committee will release its recommendations on what Wisconsin should do with the Common Core standards.
Cheers for a big check at an Appleton elementary school.
The victim in a weekend shooting at an Appleton night club has died, according to Appleton police.
The possibility of a Walmart store in downtown Green Bay is still alive.