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WIAA realignment task force advances Sun Prairie 2022 football proposal for Board of Control approval
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WIAA realignment task force advances Sun Prairie 2022 football proposal for Board of Control approval

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Prep football photo: Madison Edgewood's Jackson Trudgeon

Madison Edgewood's Jackson Trudgeon runs for a second-quarter touchdown last Friday against Sauk Prairie.

The Sun Prairie proposal that would place Sun Prairie East and the new Sun Prairie West in the Badger Large Conference in football starting in 2022 was advanced to the WIAA Board of Control for final approval at its March 5 meeting.

Among the changes, the realignment would put Sun Prairie East and West in the Badger Large, Janesville Craig and Janesville Parker in the Big Eight Conference, Beloit Memorial in the Southern Lakes, DeForest in the Badger Small Conference, Reedsburg and Baraboo in the Mississippi Valley Conference and Madison Edgewood and New Glarus/Monticello in the Capitol Conference. 

The WIAA realignment task force committee reviewed plans Wednesday that had been advanced for further consideration and heard appeals of realignment requests that were denied at its meeting last month, according to a release from the WIAA on Thursday.

Those plans are for football-only realignment and would begin in 2022. The plans for area schools remained what was spelled out and reported last month.

The 11-player realignment proposals that had been advanced for further review included a combination of proposals from De Soto, Horicon/Hustisford and Pardeeville, River Falls and West Salem and Sun Prairie and Sun Prairie West and those were moved on for final approval by the Board of Control. Conferences included in a modified Marinette realignment proposal will require another review Feb. 11.

The 11-player realignment plans move 20 programs from existing conference affiliations. Three more programs will change conference affiliation if the Marinette proposal moves on from the February meeting and is approved in March.

Sun Prairie West is a new school scheduled to open in 2022-23. It has been admitted to the Big Eight Conference for all sports, except football.

The ripple effect of the moves among area schools for football:

Sun Prairie East and West from the Big Eight to the Badger Large.

Janesville Craig and Janesville Parker from the Badger Large to the Big Eight.

Beloit Memorial from the Big Eight to the Southern Lakes Conference.

Baraboo and Reedsburg from the Badger Small Conference to the Mississippi Valley Conference.

DeForest from the Badger Large to the Badger Small.

Madison Edgewood from the Rock Valley Conference to the Capitol Conference.

New Glarus/Monticello from the Southwest Wisconsin Conference to the Capitol.

Watertown Luther Prep from the Capitol to the Midwest Classic Conference.

In addition:

Delavan-Darien from the Southern Lakes to the Rock Valley.

Horicon/Hustisford from the Capitol Conference to the Eastern Suburban Conference.

Iowa-Grant from the Southwest Wisconsin Activities League to the Ridge & Valley Conference.

Lancaster from the Southwest Wisconsin Activities League to the Southwest Wisconsin Conference.

Pardeeville from the Eastern Suburban to the Trailways Conference.

Pittsville from the Central Wisconsin Small Conference to the Marawood Conference.

Rice Lake from the Big Rivers Conference to the Middle Border Conference.

River Falls from the Mississippi Valley Conference to the Big Rivers.

West Salem from the Mississippi Valley to the Coulee Conference.

It is possible for the affected schools to appeal. Appeals of submitted plans would be to the Board of Control in March as the Board of Control has the action to adopt, according to Madison Memorial athletic director Jeremy Schlitz, who’s the co-chairman of the task force committee.

Janesville Craig and Janesville Parker indicated initial opposition to the Sun Prairie proposal. Baraboo and Reedsburg were moved from the Badger Conference to the MVC and away from rivals, including Portage, in response to the River Falls and West Salem proposals to move to other conferences.

Here are a sampling of the proposed conference plans for football in 2022.

Big Eight (with enrollments): Middleton (2,250); Madison West (2,213); Madison Memorial (2,174); Janesville Craig (1,726); Madison La Follette (1,714); Madison East (1,652); Verona (1,650); Janesville Parker (1,459).

Badger Large: Waunakee (1,337); Sun Prairie East (1,325); Sun Prairie West (1,325); Watertown (1,259); Oregon (1,161); Beaver Dam (1,114); Milton (1,101).

Badger Small: Monona Grove (1,028); DeForest (1,027); Fort Atkinson (1,003); Stoughton (978); Mount Horeb/Barneveld (904); Sauk Prairie (878); Portage (778).

Mississippi Valley Conference: Holmen (1,147); La Crosse Central (1,020); Onalaska (953); Tomah (911); Baraboo (896); Reedsburg (884); Sparta (768).

Capitol: Walworth Big Foot (503); Madison Edgewood (485); Beloit Turner (460); Lodi (458); Lake Mills (453); New Glarus/Monticello (426); Columbus (420); Lakeside Lutheran (406).

Last month, the task force committee denied the appeals from Ashland, Hayward, Oshkosh North and Oshkosh West, West Allis Central and West Allis Hale and an original plan submitted by Marinette, according to the WIAA release. The schools that had their appeals denied are granted the opportunity to appeal to the Board of Control at its Jan. 27 meeting.

Marinette presented a modified proposal. That was advanced to the task force meeting Feb. 11. All schools affected by Marinette’s modified realignment proposal may appear in person, virtually or by submitting a written statement at the meeting Feb. 11, according to the WIAA.

The three 11-player programs that would alter their conference affiliation with the modified Marinette proposal:

Clintonville from the Packerland Conference to the Northwoods Conference.

Fox Valley Lutheran from the Bay Conference to the North Eastern Conference.

Marinette from the North Eastern to the Packerland.

In addition, the modified eight-player plan that originated with requests from De Soto, Lake Holcombe, Niagara and Pembine/Goodman and forms nine eight-player football conferences will advance to the Board of Control for final consideration March 5.

PREP FOOTBALL

AREA CONFERENCE CHANGES

Note: These football-only conference changes have been advanced by the WIAA’s football realignment task force and will be voted on by the Board of Control at its March 5 meeting. Changes that are approved at that time will take place in 2022. The proposed new conference affiliation is listed first for each school, followed by its current affiliation.

Program             Proposed 2022 conference         Current conference

Baraboo             Mississippi Valley            Badger Small

Beloit Memorial              Southern Lakes Big Eight

DeForest            Badger Small     Badger Large

Madison Edgewood       Capitol  Rock Valley

Janesville Craig  Big Eight             Badger Large

Janesville Parker             Big Eight             Badger Large

New Glarus/Monticello Capitol  Southwest Wisconsin

Reedsburg         Mississippi Valley            Badger Small

Sun Prairie East Badger Large     Big Eight

Sun Prairie West             Badger Large     New school

Watertown Luther Prep Midwest Classic Capitol

OTHER REGION CHANGES

Program             2022 conference             Current conference

Delavan-Darien Rock Valley        Southern Lakes

Horicon/Hustisford        Eastern Suburban           Capitol

Lancaster           Southwest Wisconsin     SWAL

Pardeeville         Trailways            Eastern Suburban​

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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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