Officials of the Northeast Community School District are seeking a new athletic conference.
In letters to Chris Anderson, superintendent of the Monticello School District and Davie Kummel, principal of Regina High School in Iowa City, Northeast Superintendent James Cox expressed the district’s desire to become a part of the Tri-Rivers or Cedar Valley athletic conference. Northeast is currently a member of the Big East Conference.
“The driving force for our request is due to competition,” Cox wrote. “Our enrollment is strong and continues to grow. We have a high level of participation of student athletes, but this is not the case with many of the Big East schools.
Members of the Big East Conference from the Gateway area include Prince of Peace, Preston, Camanche, Calamus-Wheatland and Bellevue.
“There have been instances when we were notified that other schools would not be able to field a team, and opposing schools have cancelled junior varsity and junior high games because of low numbers of participation,” Cox wrote. “Scheduling has also been an issue for our athletic department. We feel that the participation and competitive level of the Tri-River (Cedar Valley) Conference would be a great fit for Northeast-East Central (under a whole grade sharing agreement).
Most of the teams within the conference are affiliated with Class 1A, while a few schools, like Northeast, participate in Class 2A athletics.
“It is with great reluctance that we make this request. However, we have a responsibility to our student athletes to provide the best education possible. Part of the educational process includes our ability to provide quality extra-curricular competition for our students and enhance the opportunity for our students to participate.
“We feel that our competitive programs and our strong support/following would be beneficial to the Tri-Rivers (Cedar Valley) Conference. Thank you for your consideration of our request.”
The letters are signed by Cox; Charles Corr, president of the school board; Sue O’Donnell, secondary principal; and Gregg Mohl and Teri Howe, activities directors.
Cox told the Clinton Herald that he anticipates that both of the conferences will deny the requests.
“Then we will appeal to the state, and they will put us in a conference,” he said.