Western Valley Activities Conference will have 19 members
The proposed merger of the Maple Valley and Boyer Valley Conferences will become a reality in the fall of 2008, thanks to a vote Tuesday by School Superintendents representing the schools in those two conferences.
The Maple Valley Conference was founded in 1931, and the Boyer Valley Conference around 1960, and perhaps earlier.
Geographically, the new conference covers territory from Remsen in the north to Manning in the southeast, Logan in the south, and Lawton in the west.
Seventeen superintendents supported the measure, while Tom Morrow of Woodbury Central voted against the measure, and Dr. Robert Morrison of Lawton-Bronson abstained.
The athletic directors from the 19 schools involved are scheduled to meet on March 1 to begin the process of defining the Conference regulations. The new conference, which will be called the Western Valley Activities Conference, will consist of two divisions. The North Division will include 10 members -Galva-Holstein, River Valley, Battle Creek-Ida Grove, Odebolt-Arthur, Remsen-Union, Kingsley-Pierson, Lawton-Bronson, Maple Valley/Anthon-Oto, Westwood of Sloan, and Woodbury Central.
The nine South Division member schools will be Ar-We-Va, Boyer Valley, Charter Oak-Ute, Irwin-Kirkman-Manilla/Manning (which are expected to whole grade share after next year), Logan-Magnolia, West Harrison, Woodbine, West Monona, and Whiting.
In addition to athletics, the conference will also cover fine arts programs and quiz bowl activities.
Reasons believed to drive the change include declining enrollments, shared programs, and a revenue-generating basketball tournament. Smaller class sizes are forcing several districts, such as IKM and Manning, and Battle Creek-Ida Grove and Odebolt-Arthur, to consider sharing. It is believed by some that remaining independent would make it difficult, if not impossible, for some schools to field teams in some varsity sports in the future.
A positive aspect of the sharing is the conference tournaments. The Maple Valley Conference has been able to generate substantial revenue from its annual basketball, softball, and baseball tournaments and Conference track meet, with funds used to provide medals, ribbons, and plaques to all-conference players and league champions. Any excess funds are given back to league members.
A proposed Western Valley Basketball Tournament might feature 36 boys games and 36 girls games, and the North and South Divisions would be mixed throughout the tournament, whereas they would just play within their divisions during the regular season.
Again, none of these details are "set in stone" at this point, and won't be until after the athletic directors meet in March.