Q&A: Orfordville Parkview AD on Rock Valley crossover conundrum
A week and a half ago we explained why, for this season only, Rock Valley Conference crossover football games will only count in the North Division standings.
The league had hoped the move was a good compromise between the larger schools, enrollment-wise, in the North and smaller schools in the South. However, the WIAA has not approved the move long-term, instead issuing a one-year waiver.
The league will once again need to decide what’s next, whether that’s a return to all games counting, crossovers counting for no program, or something else.
Part of the equation when it comes to something else is Orfordville Parkview’s request to the WIAA to look at possible realignment.
Parkview Athletic Director Shane Suehring helps shed a little more light on the Vikings’ stance and where the process goes from here:
Q: Describe the situation the Parkview currently finds itself in.
A: “With a smaller enrollment, we have smaller participation numbers than everyone else. It’s not just football; we have some other sports where we’re affected as well. We enjoy the conference itself, but it is harder for us to compete in a lot of sports when some of these large schools are putting 70 kids out for football, where program-wide we’re about 35 this year. We go into a Friday night game and we may only have 10 subs on the sidelines to work with through the whole game. By the second half we’re usually just gassed. Football (the team fell to 0-5 Friday) obviously shows it the most because you have 11 kids on the field at a time.”
Q: You have brought up realignment to the WIAA. Where does that stand and what is the process going forward?
A: “You have to request to the WIAA that you would like to look at realignment options. Really, then, a lot of it is in their hands. They would look at the area, the enrollment, the location of a bunch of schools and conferences, and they would look around and try to sort out some sort of alignment that would work in their eyes. Once they come up with something, there’s an appeal period type of thing, but the whole realignment process is a couple-year process. And from what we’ve been told up to this point, we’re not up in the near future yet for them. We’re not on deck.”
Q: Is that frustrating?
A: “I wouldn’t say frustrating. It is what it is. We enjoy the conference. We don’t have any issues with any of our conference schools. It’s just a competition factor. I know we’re not the only ones. We’re the smallest, but there are other schools on the small side. Travel is going to be a big hurdle. I’ve looked at things, and there’s not a lot of schools in close proximity to each other in this enrollment range—the 250-750 or 800. No matter what ends up happening down the road, travel’s probably not going to get better for every school. Not everybody’s going to be happy with it. Every time realignment happens, there are schools that are happy and some that are not happy about it. I know it’s going to be a long process. We just have to be patient and keep reminding the WIAA where we stand.”
Q: Do you see any sort of ideal solution?
A: “There is no perfect situation. Obviously the Capital, enrollment-wise, would be a nice place for Parkview. But we can’t just switch to the Capital. That would affect schools in the Capital. It’s a domino effect. Once you look at one conference and make some changes, it carries over to another conference. So, no, there is no easy solution, otherwise we probably would have already had it done. But I think, over the next few years, we will probably see some sort of change, whether it involves the Rock and the Capitol, or schools outside of those conferences.”