Prep Sports

Anamosa aims to be more competitive in River Valley

HS journalism: Raiders are leaving Wamac at end of school year

The Anamosa student section cheers after a basket during a girls’ high school basketball game in February. Anamosa is leaving the Wamac Conference for the River Valley in the fall. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
The Anamosa student section cheers after a basket during a girls’ high school basketball game in February. Anamosa is leaving the Wamac Conference for the River Valley in the fall. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

ANAMOSA — For Anamosa High School activities director Bret Jones it’s not about “winning more.”

“It’s about being competitive,” he said.

Anamosa will leave the Wamac Conference at the end of the school year and will join the River Valley Conference. The River Valley is a Class 2A conference and the Wamac predominantly a 3A league. Anamosa is going from being one of the smallest schools in the Wamac to one of the biggest in the River Valley.

“I felt it was necessary, given our size as compared to the other schools in the Wamac, for the overall health of our programs,” Jones said. “I hope we see improved participation because students should see the benefits of their hard work by playing schools that are more similar to ours.”

Size wasn’t the only factor in the decision to leave the Wamac.

“Additionally, we have had scheduling conflicts at the end of seasons due to the fact that we played in a lower class in playoffs,” Jones said. “When the larger classes start playoffs a week after us, it forced us to play conference games closer to regional games than we prefer, which made it difficult to prepare for our playoff opponents.”

Veteran basketball coach Kevin Barnes will be facing new competition, but this is nothing new to him. He has been involved in four conference changes.

“When looking at the RVC, we found they offered the levels of teams that meet our needs,” Jones said. “I do not anticipate any issue with finding enough lower level games. One of the things that excites me about the RVC is that both boys’ and girls’ basketball play at the same site on the same night. This will allow (the) student section and adult fans to support all our kids and not be divided between two locations.”

Jones also said this change won’t just make things easier for high school sports, but also for the middle school programs.

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