It’s appear more likely that Iowa’s oldest high school athletic conference will dissolve after the 2024-25 school year.
Last month, the Howard-Winneshiek School Board gave Superintendent Chris Einck the go-ahead to seek admission into the Upper Iowa Conference (UIC). This week, the UIC accepted the Cresco-Crestwood Cadets into the league, which will bring the conference to 10 teams, starting with the 2025-26 school year..
However, the UIC has also extended invitations to two other current Northeast Iowa Conference (NEIC) members, Waukon and New Hampton, with eyes on forming two divisions within the UIC. The proposed “large school division” would include Waukon, Crestwood, New Hampton, North Fayette Valley, MFL Mar-Mac and South Winneshiek. The “small school division” would be comprised of Postville, Clayton Ridge, Elkader Central, Turkey Valley, Lansing Kee and West Central.
The NEIC is currently consists of Crestwood, Waukon and New Hampton, along with Charles City, Decorah, and Waverly-Shell Rock, although WSR is slated to depart the NEIC after June 30th.
The Go-Hawks are set to go through the 2024-25 school year as an independent and have applied to join the WAMAC conference starting with the 2025-26 school year.
Einck says the NEIC will operate as a five-team conference for 24-25.
Still, the NEIC, established in 1920, will likely dissolve after the next school year, unless the league can attract new members. That has proved unfruitful thus far with Osage and North Fayette Valley among those who have declined invitations to join the NEIC.