116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CLARENCE — The River Valley Conference has served the North Cedar Knights well, according to Adam Hadenfeldt.
“I think it’s the best Class 2A conference in the state,” said Hadenfeldt, North Cedar athletics director. “It has always prepared us for the postseason.
“But the reality, in terms of numbers, is that we will be a better fit for the Tri-Rivers (Conference).”
The North Cedar board of education agreed in a meeting Monday night. The intent, if the RVC allows it, is for the Knights to shift leagues in time for the beginning of the 2022-23 school year.
“We’ll write a letter to the RVC, announcing our intention to move to the Tri-Rivers,” Hadenfeldt said. “The only hiccup is if the River Valley holds us for two years. The bylaws say that anybody leaving is supposed to give two years’ notice, so that could hold us back to 2023-24.”
According to the state’s BEDS Documents, North Cedar has a 9-11 enrollment of 157 students, which matches Bellevue as the smallest in the River Valley.
Alburnett is the largest school in the Tri-Rivers, also with an enrollment of 157.
North Cedar, which encompasses Highway 30 communities Mechanicsville, Stanwood, Clarence and Lowden, likely will become a member of the Tri-Rivers East Division, balancing the league with eight teams in both divisions.
The school would join geographic neighbors Lisbon (to the west), Midland (to the north) and Calamus-Wheatland (to the east).
Bellevue Marquette, Cedar Valley Christian, Clinton Prince of Peace and Easton Valley are the other East Division members, with Alburnett, Central City, East Buchanan, Edgewood-Colesburg, Maquoketa Valley, North Linn, Springville and Starmont in the West.
“We drive through a lot of those districts on the way to our conference games, and we look forward to starting rivalries with those schools,” Hadenfeldt said. “We are hopeful that we can continue our relationships with our current River Valley rivals, particularly Tipton.”
North Cedar’s exit will make the River Valley a 13-school league. One potential replacement is Maquoketa, currently a member of the 13-school Wamac Conference.
Maquoketa is on a bit of a geographic island in the Wamac, particularly after neighbor Central DeWitt left for the Mississippi Athletic Conference at the beginning of the current school year.
A move would reunite Maquoketa with old Big Bend Conference partners Anamosa, Camanche, Cascade and Monticello.
Maquoketa has a BEDS enrollment of 370, which is substantially larger than the largest RVC school (Anamosa, 309).
One area school will change conferences before the 2021-22 school year: Oelwein will leave the Northeast Iowa Conference and join the North Iowa Cedar League.