Jefferson County Delaware Valley teams withdraw from conference

by Dennis Sharkey

At least six teams from the Delaware Valley including all four Jefferson County teams are leaving the conference to form their own.

The league meeting was on Wednesday where Oskaloosa USD 341, Valley Falls USD 338, Jefferson County North USD 339, McLouth USD 342 and Pleasant Ridge USD 449 were expected to submit their withdrawal letters.

Maur Hill/Mt. Academy Assistant Principal Richard Hunninghake, told the Independent last week that no official action had been taken by his school but that he expected a withdrawal.

Two other schools, Jackson Heights and Immaculata, have also been reported as having an interest in leaving the Delaware Valley and joining the new league with eight teams.

All the schools will still participate as members of the Delaware Valley next school year.

Oskaloosa was the first school to make the move when the school presented the idea last fall. The Oskaloosa board voted in February to withdraw.

A number of different reasons have been listed for the move with the biggest being travel and costs. Local schools were also concerned about playing less traditional rivalry games.

McLouth Superintendent Steve Splichal told his board in February that many times their school drives through traditional rival towns to get to further away games.

“We’re able to keep our rivals,” Oskaloosa Superintendent Jon Pfau told the Independent. “You don’t want to lose your rivals.

“It’s also an area that we thought we could reduce our budget,” he added.

The size of the league was also becoming a concern and the worry about northern teams talking about leaving every year. Currently the league has 14 teams.

With 14 teams Pfau said it’s also hard to come to a concensus about league issues.

“When you have a league so big it’s hard to move anything forward,” Pfau said. “It’s nobody’s fault but it would be easier to work with a smaller group.”

There would also be some scheduling benefits in basketball. Pfau said they would likely move to a home-and-home format for the regular season.

The Delaware Valley League name would stay with the six remaining teams of Troy, Horton, ACCHS-Effingham, Kansas City Christian, Riverside and Doniphan West.

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Posted by on Apr 13 2012. Filed under County News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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