South Tama County School District is looking to change conferences for the third time in seven years, but anyone expecting an official announcement on any change will likely have to wait until mid-February.
Any decision by the WaMaC Conference, which invited STC to join it's soon-to-be 15-team conference, is awaiting a vote by its current members. A new member must be approved by a two-vote system, according to Kristen Rickey, Superintendent of the West Deleware School District and WaMaC Conference Chair.
"The process needs to follow the constitutions and bylaws of both of the conferences involved," Rickey said. "Additionally, each school district must inform their individual school boards. WaMaC bylaws require us to hold two votes, each of which must pass by majority plus one of the member schools.
"We will hold one vote within the next week," she said Friday. "If it passes, each member school will inform their individual board of directors. The second WaMaC vote is yet to be scheduled, but will likely be held after February school board meetings are completed in each district. If that vote also passes with majority plus one, then South Tama would be accepted into the conference."
If South Tama County is accepted, it could join the WaMaC beginning with either the 2013-14 or the 2014-15 school year, depending on the bylaws of their current conference, according to Rickey. The other two schools contacted by the WaMaC included Oelwein and Union of LaPorte City. Rickey said schools declined the invitation, but she said it was "amicable."
"The WaMaC conference invited three other schools to consider joining our conference," Rickey said. "We chose these three schools because of size and location that we felt were a good fit for our conference. Two of the schools expressed appreciation but declined at this time. South Tama expressed interest in pursuing this opportunity."
STC?Board Favors 3-1
South Tama County's School Board voted on the WaMaC invitation on Jan. 11. The school board voted 3-1 to accept the invitation and join a conference which it was a part of seven years ago.
STC was a member of the WaMaC Conference up until 2006 when it joined the Little Hawkeye Conference. In 2011, STC dumped the LHC for the North Iowa Cedar League, which it could be leaving after two years."
The WaMaC (named for the Wapsipinicon, Maquoketa and Cedar Rivers) is trying to get back to an even 16 teams after Waterloo Columbus decided to leave the league this past August to join the NICL, the league that South Tama County may be departing.
The WaMaC Conference needs a "yes" vote from nine of the 15 athletic directors of the other schools. Those votes could come at any time, but Nelson anticipates a response from the league sometime in February.
Columbus received an invitation into the NICL following the closing of NU High last spring and will join the league's East Division, beginning with fall activities during the 2013-14 school year. The move will put Columbus in a 16-school league with mostly traditional Class 2A schools.
The majority of the WaMaC's 16 schools compete in Class 3A, same as South Tama County.
"I cannot speak to the opportunities in the different conferences, but of course all schools strive to provide co-curricular opportunities that benefit the students we serve," Rickey said. "In athletics, our conference members are similar in size and this provides us the opportunity to have both A and B teams, and sometimes C teams, compete with one another."
If all works out, South Tama would be in the WaMaC's West Division, along with Benton Community, Center Point-Urbana, Clear Creek-Amana, Independence, Marion, Vinton-Shellsburg and Williamsburg.
The East Division consists of Anamosa, Central Clinton (DeWitt), Dyersville Beckman, Maquoketa, Mount Vernon, Solon, West Delaware and Western Dubuque.