116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Waverly-Shell Rock is changing its strategy in hopes of finding a new home for its high school sports teams.
The Gazette learned Tuesday that WSR will rescind its motion to apply for the Mississippi Valley Conference. This is according to notes obtained from a school board meeting held Monday.
Instead, Waverly-Shell Rock will apply to the Wamac Conference for all sports except for boys’ and girls’ wrestling, and will seek membership in the MVC for wrestling only.
According to the release:
“(Athletics director Greg) Bodensteiner presented to the board information on the majority of the coaches’ preference to join the Wamac Conference rather than the MVC.
“He suggested that we could apply to the MVC for wrestling and the Wamac for other sports.”
The motion passed unanimously.
According to one Wamac athletics director, there has been “no formal inquiry” from Waverly-Shell Rock as of Wednesday afternoon and the expectation is that the application “will get zero support.”
Waverly-Shell Rock has been a member of the Northeast Iowa Conference for 90 years. Citing an imbalance in size, the other five NEIC schools (Charles City, Crestwood, Decorah, New Hampton and Waukon) voted to remove WSR from the league effective June 30, 2023.
Those five schools hope to expand the league, and have extended invitations to MFL MarMac, North Fayette Valley, Oelwein, Osage and Sumner-Fredericksburg.
The Wamac currently is home for 13 schools — Benton Community, Center Point-Urbana, Clear Creek Amana, Dyersville Beckman, Independence, Maquoketa, Marion, Mount Vernon, Solon, South Tama, Vinton-Shellsburg, West Delaware and Williamsburg.
Beckman and Maquoketa will depart for the River Valley Conference following this school year, and Grinnell will join in time for the 2023-24 school year.
That will give the new 12-team conference an average BEDS enrollment of 381. Waverly-Shell Rock’s BEDS number (students in grades 9-11 in the 2020-21 school year) is 555, which would make it the largest school in the league.