With a goal of creating long term partnerships and stability, superintendents from the Corn Bowl Conference and North Iowa Conference met Tuesday morning to discuss the creation of a new super conference made up of 18 school districts from across the top of Iowa. The concept has been in discussion mode for a little over a year, but it took less than 2 hours for the superintendents of both conferences to reach consensus that a 2-division concept with some flexibility for scheduling was the go-ahead plan. Pending approval of the local school boards, the new super conference of 18 schools will take effect fall of the 2015-2016 school year. Although this new union may be referred to as an “athletic conference”, it is the intent of the superintendents to create more opportunities for combined fine arts activities and student leadership events as well.
Districts in the 2015-2016 merger include Algona Garrigan, Belmond-Klemme, Central Springs, Eagle Grove, Forest City, Garner-Hayfield- Ventura, Lake Mills, Newman Catholic, Nashua-Plainfield, North Butler, North Iowa, Northwood-Kensett, North Union, Osage, Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock, St. Ansgar, West Fork, and West Hancock. Changes are already in place to the 8-school NIC beginning fall of 2014 with the addition of 3 new partners Algona Garrigan, Eagle Grove, and North Union. Riceville will no longer remain a member of the current 8-school Corn Bowl Conference, having submitted a request to opt out earlier this year.
The athletic directors from each school are scheduled to attend a joint meeting on March 5 to review the 2-division concept, discuss important details, and begin the scheduling and contracting of games and events. The super conference concept will allow for some cross-over games within the 18 schools, and several ‘in’ or ‘out’ of conference options. This was important to the athletic directors not only for scheduling, but for keeping relationships with schools played in the past.
A list of ideas for a possible new name for the conference was generated at the meeting, but it was determined that students from each of the schools should be tapped for their suggestions as well. At some point in the future, a new name will be offered for approval by the 18 superintendents. The next step in the process is for the 18 local school boards to approve a resolution at their March meeting calling for the creation of the merger.