Area football programs could see drastic changes with WIAA conference realignment proposal

Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 10:03 PM CST
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - The Conference Realignment Task Force convened Thursday to receive feedback from schools impacted by the modified football-only realignment plans and met Friday to finalize recommendations to advance to the Board of Control.

The notable local takeaways from the current list of proposals include the Valley Football Association combining with Big Rivers into the Big Rivers/VFA Conference. This would affect Marshfield, Stevens Point, Wausau West, DC Everest, and Wisconsin Rapids.

Wausau East and Tomahawk would join the Great Northern Conference. The Marawood Conference would no longer exist, moving Colby, Marathon, and Loyal/Greenwood to the Central Wisconsin Conference-Large. Abbotsford, Auburndale, Edgar, and Pittsville would move to the CWC-Small Conference.

Every school that requested a hearing Thursday was afforded time to present new information to the task force. Feedback from schools in the same conference assigned designated individuals to represent the views of all schools in the league.

As a result of the information gathered from the hearings, the Conference Realignment Task Force amended a number of the modified plans. The Board of Control will vote on the recommendations at its meeting on March 7. The Board has the option to approve, reject, or remand realignment recommendations back to the Task Force. If approved, the modifications will be implemented for the 2024 football season.

A listing of the configurations of football conferences statewide, including the modified, football-only conference realignment recommendations for 11-player and 8-player football, is available on the Conference Realignment page of the WIAA website. Original proposals submitted are also available on the WIAA “Conference Realignment” webpage under “Requests and Proposals.” The full conference realignment process and timeline can be found on the WIAA webpage by accessing the “Conference Realignment” option in the “Schools” mega menu.

The WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 518 senior high schools and 48 junior high/middle-level schools in its membership.

For more information, contact the WIAA office at 715-344-8580.