STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The WIAA Conference Realignment Task Force assembled and reviewed applications from 20 schools in the first meeting of the 2023-24 realignment process Tuesday at the executive office.
The schools requesting relief from their current conference in sports other than football included Ashland, Berlin, Central Wisconsin Christian, Clinton, DeForest, Elk Mound, Fox Valley Lutheran, Fuller Collegiate Academy, Kettle Moraine Lutheran, Lincoln Academy, Merrill, Oak Creek, Osseo-Fairchild, Ripon, St. Augustine Prep, Sun Prairie East, Waukesha North, Waukesha South, West De Pere and Winneconne.
All plans reviewed and approved by the Task Force and the Board of Control would be implemented in the fall of the 2025-26 school year.
The Conference Realignment Task Force voted 15-0 to advance two plans that are sport specific, including Central Wisconsin Christian into the Wisconsin Flyway for girls soccer and DeForest to the Big Eight for boys volleyball.
Other plans advanced by the Task Force for all sports except football include Winneconne, which would join the Bay Conference from the East Central Conference; West De Pere, West De Pere, which would join the Fox River Classic Conference from the Bay Conference; Kettle Moraine Lutheran, which would align with the Metro Classic Conference from the East Central Conference; and Fox Valley Lutheran, which would move from the North Eastern Conference to the Bay Conference.
The Task Force also advanced proposals that moves Fuller Collegiate Academy into the Lake City Conference, Merrill from the Wisconsin Valley Conference into the Great Northern, Osseo-Fairchild from the Cloverbelt Conference to the Dairyland Conference and Elk Mound from the Dunn-St. Croix Conference to the West Division of the Cloverbelt Conference.
There were six realignment applications modified by the Task Force for further review, including two plans that are sport specific. The two sport-specific proposals modified were submitted by Ashland for boys hockey and by Sun Prairie East for boys and girls lacrosse. Other plans modified for all sports besides football were submitted by Berlin, Ripon, Waukesha North and Waukesha South. These original plans and the Task Force modifications to those plans can be accessed on the conference realignment Requests and Proposals page of the WIAA website at: https://www.wiaawi.org/.
All schools newly affected by the realignment solutions modified by the Task Force may provide written feedback or appear virtually at the Task Force meeting Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024, at 10 a.m. Requests to participate in the virtual hearing and provide additional information must be emailed to Assistant Director Melissa Gehring at email@example.com by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024. Schools will be provided a maximum of three minutes to present new information on the modified plans, and schools in the same conference are asked to designate one spokesperson who will represent all schools. The time afforded to this spokesperson will be extended to eight minutes.
The Conference Realignment Task Force did not advance plans submitted by Clinton, Lincoln Academy, Oak Creek and St. Augustine Prep. The details of the plans denied by the Task Force can be accessed on the conference realignment Requests and Proposals page of the WIAA website.
Member schools that had their applications denied or any schools impacted by a proposed realignment solution may appeal the decision at the Task Force meeting on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024. at 10 a.m. Requests to appeal must be submitted in writing to Gehring at firstname.lastname@example.org by 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. A school may appeal by having a representative appear at the WIAA office or appear virtually. Each school will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present new information to the Task Force.
The Task Force will finalize and submit proposals for the Board of Control meeting on March 5, 2024, following the Jan. 11 Conference Realignment Task Force meeting.
The WIAA, as defined by its Constitution, is a voluntary, unincorporated, and nonprofit organization. The membership oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 515 senior high schools and 43 junior high/middle level schools in its membership. For more information, please contact the WIAA office at (715) 344-8580.
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