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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Waverly-Shell Rock is about to apply for membership in the Mississippi Valley Conference.
Athletics Director Greg Bodensteiner confirmed Thursday that the WSR school board voted earlier this week to make an application.
“We haven’t yet formally applied, but I think we will have more information in the next week or two,” Bodensteiner said.
MVC commissioner Paul James said Wednesday that the league has not received a request, from Waverly-Shell Rock or anyone else.
“That’s news to me,” James said. “Nobody has applied, and nobody has been extended an invitation.
“At this point, we feel good about going forward as a 15-team conference. When the principals met in April, they were happy with the conference as it stands.”
“You never know what’s around the corner,” James said. “I wouldn’t have predicted that Waterloo East was going to leave (for the Iowa Alliance Conference). There are always things that can happen down the road.”
Waterloo East is departing at the end of the current school year. In recent weeks, Northeast Iowa Conference administrators voted to remove WSR from its long alliance with that league.
“We get it. It makes sense,” WSR athletics director Greg Bodensteiner told The Gazette on April 4. “The only options (for NEIC expansion) are smaller schools, and we’re kind of an insurmountable hurdle in the way of that.”
Waverly-Shell Rock’s final year in the NEIC will be 2022-23, and will be looking for a new home effective the 2023-24 school year.
Since the vote to remove WSR, the other five NEIC schools — Charles City, Crestwood, Decorah, New Hampton and Waukon — have extended an invitation to five other schools (MFL MarMac, North Fayette Valley, Oelwein, Osage, Sumner-Fredericksburg) for possible NEIC expansion.
There has been no update yet on an interest level of those five invitees.
Waverly-Shell Rock would have three potential landing spots — the MVC, the Iowa Alliance Conference and the Wamac Conference.
The MVC (15 schools after Waterloo East’s exit) and the IAC (11 schools) both have an odd number of teams, which isn’t ideal for scheduling.
The Iowa Alliance is a group of schools breaking away from the Central Iowa Metro League — the five Des Moines public schools, Ames, Fort Dodge, Marshalltown, Mason City, Ottumwa and Waterloo East.
The Wamac will have 12 schools once Maquoketa and Dyersville Beckman leave (following the current school year) and Grinnell enters (in 2023).