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December 17, 2018

11/16/2017 10:06:00 AM
Let's find the best way
J. Patrick Reilly

There are no doubt plenty of ways to look at what is being proposed for football for this part of the state.
Does it make sense?
To some it will. To others it won't.
Being the father of two sons who played football and enjoyed it I have some misgivings about possible of where teams will be playing is going.
The plan that is being discussed groups teams in "districts" based on enrollment. It is supposed to make things equitable.
But what value is it to students who elect to play a sport they enjoy to travel over two hours to play, especially when there are teams closer.
Here is an example of what is being considered.
Included in Dodgeville's grouping, for example, are Wautoma, Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, Viroqua, Nekoosa, Richland Center, Platteville and River Valley. Only Richland Center, Platteville and River Valley are teams currently on Dodgeville's schedule.
At least three and possibly four of the destinations will require students to leave school early on game day. Yes, it is an every other year thing but no doubt early dismissal for the athletes would happen at least twice each year.
Now about being a parent.
Not everyone can get off work or leave early from their job on any day, let alone "game day." If parents work until 5 p.m. and the game is over two hours away they will not make it by kick-off at 7 p.m. If the game starts later to accommodate the problems of a 7 p.m. kick-off then the return will be later. After traveling five hours, broken up by playing a football game, a late return is not in anyone's best interest.
Since football was introduced as a high school sport many decades ago teams have been playing each other based on geography. One team wins, the other team loses but the important thing is both teams get to play.
In most cases a "dream team" comes around only every so often. When they do, then that team can run the table, so to speak. And everyone accepts it.
The WIAA says work it out yourselves. Maybe a better idea would be to use the area meetings structure and discuss football only at them. Then make the best decision possible.
Schools with low and shrinking enrollments have their issues too. Many are at least considering 8-man which can affect conferences as they now stand.
In other cases, strong teams may be leaving a conference they dominate year after year and go to a smaller conference, upsetting the competitive balance even more.
This look into what is being considered is not designed to solve problems but instead give some insight on why decisions made must take many things into account.
Whatever decision is made I hope that parents are considered too.

Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, November 19, 2017
Article comment by: Mike Thym

Orfordville-parkview has to travel up to Oshkosh and other northern towns as they are forced to join a northern conference for some reason.

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