A second member of the North Central Conference has announced it will be leaving the league, beginning with the 2014-15 school year.
Last week Eagle Grove voted 3-2 to become a member of the North Iowa Conference. They join Bishop Garrigan as NCC teams moving to the NIC. Pending Eagle Grove’s move to the NIC, the North Central Conference would have eight members.
Superintendents from the NIC unanimously approved adding current NCC member Bishop Garrigan and North Union to the league’s roster on Nov. 26. With the addition of those schools, along with Eagle Grove, the NIC will grow to 11 teams. Other NIC members are Belmond-Klemme, Forest City, Garner-Hayfield/Ventura, Lake Mills, Mason City Newman, North Iowa, Osage and West Hancock.
Six of eight NIC member schools must vote for the approval of Eagle Grove. At least three members (Forest City, North Iowa and Garner-Hayfield/Ventura) have already voted to approve the Eagles in the conference. Other member schools are expected to vote in the upcoming weeks.
Eagle Grove has been in the North Central Conference for 86 years, but most believe the lack of being competitive was a deciding factor. Eagle Grove was the smallest school in the league.
Clarion-Goldfield, another member of the NCC, is also rumored to be considering a change in conference, but no official word of a switch has been announced.
Clear Lake Activities Director Dale Ludwig said he was not surprised by the decision made by Eagle Grove school leaders. The possible switch has been talked about for months, he added.
Among the options being discussed are to create two districts within the North Central Conference-- large and small school districts. Clear Lake is identified as one of the four largest schools in the conference, along with Webster City, Algona and Humboldt. Small schools would be Clarion-Goldfield, St. Ed’s, Hampton-Dumont and Iowa Falls/Alden.
Recruiting new schools to the conference is another possibility.
Ludwig declined to elaborate on any further discussion school officials are having within the NCC, saying only “The conference will proceed and make adjustments as needed.”