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WIAA football realignment: Voters turn down all 7 proposals to alter current 2022 realignment plans
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WIAA football realignment: Voters turn down all 7 proposals to alter current 2022 realignment plans

Prep football photo: Portage's Seth Williams runs against Baraboo

Portage junior Seth Williams tries to shake a Baraboo defender during a non-conference game this season. The rivals' athletic directors have enjoyed collaborating in order to keep the teams together amidst the WIAA's football-only realignment process.

The WIAA realignment task force committee on Tuesday voted down each of seven 11-player, football-only plans that had been returned to the committee at the March 5 Board of Control of meeting.

The task force reviewed all written materials received from schools that were impacted and also used the following rationale: Provide a conference for all member schools – group by enrollment and group by geography; and “prioritize eight-team and paired seven-team conferences, where reasonably able within geography and enrollment, to accommodate the need for seven-game conference results for WIAA playoff-qualifying criteria,” according to information sent to school administrators after the meeting Tuesday.

The realignment task force didn't support the plans, voting against all seven, including solutions from Portage, Reedsburg, Rice Lake (two plans) and River Ridge (three plans), according to the information released to schools.

The Portage plan had the most support, with five in favor and 10 opposed. The others had none in favor when a vote was taken.

The Board of Control will take action to approve or deny the 11-player proposed solution, which would be implemented in fall, 2022.

Schools seeking future football-only realignment are permitted to begin the application process in in July 2022.

Baraboo and Reedsburg have opposed moving from the Badger Conference to the Mississippi Valley Conference for football only in 2022-23. Portage athletic director Ed Carlson and Reedsburg athletic director Bryan Yager developed plans that would have altered that move.

The realignment plan also includes Sun Prairie East and Sun Prairie West being placed in the Badger Large Conference for football only in 2022-23, and shifting Janesville Parker and Janesville Craig back to the Big Eight Conference from the Badger Large.

The WIAA issued a release about the task force meeting on Wednesday. 

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Jon Masson covers high school sports for the Wisconsin State Journal. He has covered a variety of sports — including the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin men's and women's basketball and volleyball — since he first came to the State Journal in 1999.

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