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 following Oelwein’s departure from the league two years ago, if even one more school defected, it would be difficult for the NEIC to survive.
New Hampton Superintendent Jay Jurrens said keeping the NEIC alive likely means removing Waverly-Shell Rock, a resolution he was asked to bring to the conference executive board.
Jurrens adds that Waverly-Shell Rock has been an obstacle to previous league expansion.
Jurrens is also the shared superintendent of Turkey Valley within the UIC, which he says would like to expand to facilitate the planning of sports competitions. UIC also invited Oelwein, Osage, Riceville, Sumner-Fredericksburg, Tripoli, Edgewood-Colesburg and Starmont to join their league.
As for the NEIC, Charles City Schools communications director Justin DeVore said preservation wouldn’t be easy for the state’s oldest athletic conference.
DeVore adds that if the NEIC disappears, Charles City, Decorah and Waverly-Shell Rock could all go together in a new league or go their separate ways entirely.
Jurrens says the goal is to resolve the issue by the end of May.