*Written by Zarren Egesdal of KIOW Radio in Forest City*
Charles City, Iowa – A Charles City task force has recommended that Charles City leave the Northeast Iowa Conference. Administrators are recommending the school be the leader in creating a new ‘conference of character.’
Monday night, during the Charles City board of directors meeting, the newly created task force – made up of students, community members, coaches, and school staff -, superintendent Mike Fisher and athletic director Todd Forsyth laid out their two-year plan to leave the NEIC and create a new conference.
Task Force Spokesman, Chris Rygh
The task force said they didn’t just focus on the incident this summer – a black member of the Charles City baseball team was racially taunted by fans while playing against Waverly-Shell Rock – instead, they looked back at incidents over the past decade, according to Rygh.
Superintendent Mike Fisher says he has reached out to schools in nearby conferences and says he has seen interest from both big and small schools.
When asked by the school board if they have explored all options of staying in the NEIC, Fisher says he didn’t think a change would come, nor does he believe the conference is sustainable – Olewein is set to leave after this school year, leaving the conference with only six schools.
The student who was taunted, Jeremiah Chapman, – who was on the task force – says he thinks it’s a great idea; he doesn’t want to see other students hurt in the future.
Athletic director Todd Forsyth – who played in the NEIC – says Charles City can be a ‘leader’ but something this drastic makes him nervous.
The new proposed conference would be run by a conference commissioner who would hold schools accountable for their actions or lack of.
Fisher also re-confirmed that Charles City will not play any head-to-head completions at Waverly-Shell Rock this season.
The task force and two administrators are expected to have a more official proposal at next month’s meeting.