(5-22-18) Two issues facing Illinois high school athletic departments has been athletic conference stability and the possibility of district play in football for the future.
Teutopolis is looking over options concerning the Wooden Shoes future athletic home….but they are in no hurry.
In April of 2011 the BOE voted unanimously to leave the National Trail Conference after 80 years as a member at the end of the 2011-12 school year. Teutopolis did have an invitation to join the Apollo Conference but declined and that is when they decided to become an independent.
Below, in a story from the Effingham Daily News, are comments from a recent Teutopolis BOE meeting discussing the possibility of joining an athletic conference in the future.
Board of Education member Brad Koester
“I think it’s something that long-term, I would love to be in a conference–that may be 10, 20 years out. As of right now, in the short-term, in the next five to 10 years, I just don’t see a good fit. I think it’s something we should continue to monitor.”
Former Teutopolis Coach Rich Probst
“Most of your sports, schools that historically have been very good consistently in, pick a sport, baseball or basketball, those schools are becoming less and less every year. You have schools that have a couple years run and then they’re back to bad again. When you lock in a conference, you are locked into playing those same schools every year.”
Board Member Chandler Hewing
“I think we need to still keep an eye on it.”
So why no rush to get the Wooden Shoes in a conference? That is an easy answer, they do not field a football team.Not having to worry about scheduling football makes their choice understandable, plus they now have the opportunity to make a future move when it is right for them.
That is an example of why athletic conferences would benefit with a change to district play in football. That is one of the reasons that a recent IHSA committee decided that removing football from conference play to a district set-up that would be a giant step in stabilizing athletic conferences. Most school officials will tell you that football has been an issue within a conference when it comes to conference changes, due to scheduling issues.
DeKalb is hoping that the NIC 10 approves them for membership (DeKalb has not heard from the NIC on the matter), being an independent in football can be a nightmare, districts would ultimately solve that problem. Should district play be approved you can be guaranteed that many schools will have ‘buyer’s remorse’ on some of the recent conference changes they have made.
How would Teutopolis benefit from district play in football? It would make them more attractive to a conference that currently has football members…it will make a difference.