Survival of the Northeast Iowa Conference (NEIC) may require addition by subtraction.
The Upper Iowa Conference (UIC) recently extended invitations to current NEIC schools, New Hampton, Cresco-Crestwood and Waukon, to join an expanded UIC. With only six current schools in the NEIC after Oelwein left the league two years ago, if even just one more school defected, it would be difficult for the NEIC to survive.
New Hampton Superintendent Jay Jurrens says keeping the NEIC alive likely means the removal of Waverly-Shell Rock, a resolution he was asked to present to the executive board of the conference.
Jurrens adds that Waverly-Shell Rock has been a hurdle to previous expansion of the league.
Jurrens is also the shared Superintendent for Turkey Valley in the UIC, which he says would like to expand to make scheduling athletic competition easier. The UIC has also extended invitations to Oelwein, Osage, Riceville, Sumner-Fredericksburg, Tripoli, Edgewood-Colesburg and Starmont to join their league.
As for the NEIC, Charles City Schools Communication Director Justin DeVore says preservation won’t be easy for the state’s oldest athletic conference.
DeVore adds that if the NEIC goes away, Charles City, Decorah and Waverly-Shell Rock could all go together to a new league or go their separate ways entirely.
Jurrens says the goal is to have the issue resolved by the end of May.