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December 11, 2017

11/17/2017 8:34:00 AM
Football realignment discussion continues

Highland Board of Education members spent a good share of their Wednesday, November 8 regular meeting talking about Six Rivers Conference realignment.
Principal Josh Tarrell and superintendent Nancy Hendrickson reported on recent meetings with the league, what they heard about the SWAL and meeting with Iowa-Grant.
Tarrell said it is not a clear picture at all as some schools are talking football only while others are looking to move to another conference.
From the Six Rivers, Shullsburg is talking about going to eight-man football in 2019 or dropping the program all together. Belmont has written a letter to the Ridge & Valley Conference asking to join as soon as they can; Black Hawk is looking to go to eight-man football in 2020.
He added that the SWAL Conference does not want Boscobel and Southwestern to leave next year, but if they apply to leave, they can after a year from the time they write their letter. The two schools have indicated they would like to join the Six Rivers in all sports.
As for Highland, he pointed out, they should be okay at 11-man for four to five years, but if some things may not be under their control as far as the conference goes.
He added that if the Ridge & Valley goes to eight-man, then Highland may want to look at a co-op. That's where discussions with Iowa-Grant enter into the picture. The two schools already co-op in some sports and also play youth football together, so the transition would be easy.
"Highland is set to stay as is next year," Tarrell said. "We prefer 11-man, but if we need to look at a co-op we will. We prefer the Distict method of set-up for play (smaller schools playing close to home), but are looking at all possibilities."
In his principal's report, Tarrell said they had a very good school play and that girls' middle school basketball had 20 players out. He added that Isaac Campbell was heading up the middle school wrestling program with 17 participants and that high school girls basketball has 14 participants, up two from last year. They will have four wrestlers, up two, traveling to Iowa-Grant for that high school co-op.
Superintendent Hendrickson gave an update on "Olympics Week," that takes place the week following Christmas break. It applies to grades 6-12. They have an ice skating night planned at Harris Park in Dodgeville. Every class will do an Olympic event and a former Olympian will be speaking to the entire group.
She also said that the school would enter a three-year contract for workbooks as a new edition came out and prices were going up. It would be an expense not in the budget, but the contract would ensure no raise in the following two years.
The board approved hiring Brad Tucker as an additional middle school wrestling coach to help Campbell due to the number of participants.
They also accepted the donation of football rain jackets from the Gridiron Club, something that they needed several times this year. Also, the wrestlebackers donated a new mat for the middle school wrestling meets.

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