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Future of NCC could be divisions (yikes!)

March 13, 2013 - Troy Banning
According to a report in Tuesday’s Mason City Globe Gazette, the soon-to-be eight-school North Central Conference will split into two divisions — large and small — beginning with the 2014-15 school year.

Globe Gazette sports writer Jared Patterson, who I know and respect, received this information from Clarion-Goldfield superintendent Dr. Bob Olson, who went on to lay out these divisions.

Large School — Webster City, Algona, Humboldt and Clear Lake.

Small School — Clarion-Goldfield, St. Edmond, Hampton-Dumont and Iowa Falls-Alden.

Oh, the questions I have.

A 12-team conference split into two divisions of six would be ideal; a 10-team league with five each would be stretching, but would probably work.

But an eight-team NCC carved into two four-team divisions? Come on.

These two four-team divisions would both be competing for conference championships. Yes, there would be two winners in basketball, baseball, softball ... you get the picture.

But is winning a four-team conference reason to celebrate? I guess I’m old school because I say nope, no way.

Then there’s scheduling, and let’s just stick with basketball because — let’s be honest — that is the sport that is driving this car.

If you play teams in your division twice and teams in the other division once, then you’d have 10 conference games. That leaves 11 dates to fill and ask any athletic director, filling three non-conference dates isn’t easy. Filling 11? Try impossible.

OK, go ahead and schedule the other divisional schools again as non-conference opponents. My guess is St. Edmond would be angry if it didn’t get to play Webster City, Humboldt and Algona twice anyway.

But then it gets down to which is the conference game and which is the non-conference game? Why do we have to play the conference game away, but the non-conference game at home?

Do you see where I’m going with this?

And if you’re playing all of the schools twice anyway, then what’s the point of the divisions? Please, does anybody have a plausible answer because I’m getting a headache.

Trophies. This is all about trophies.

It’s not about the inability to be competitive because, if that were the case, then you wouldn’t schedule each other the maximum number of times.

Nope, this is about everybody winning a trophy (or having a much better chance of winning one anyway). So then who cares how it’s broken down ... why not have eight one-team divisions where everybody can call themselves a champion?

Or, better yet, why keep score at all?

I know I sound ridiculous, but that’s the point. This entire ordeal is ridiculous.

If this comes to fruition, the sport I will most be interested in is wrestling. So for the NCC tournament, will there be two separate four-team tournaments? Won’t that be fun; realistically, there could be a weight or weights where there are only two kids. Heck, there could be a weight with only one kid ... and now he’s a conference champion by default.

I’m sorry, but this doesn’t sound appealing at all.

Hopefully, if the conference is sliced into two divisions, it won’t be as extreme as I’ve outlined. But if it is? Then maybe it is time for everyone to shake hands and go their separate ways.


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