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Are changes in store for Decorah High School and the Northeast Iowa Conference?

Posted: Sun, Jan 5, 2020 6:13 PM

The Northeast Iowa Conference, the grouping of seven school districts which includes Decorah, could look much different in 2020.

The Mason City Globe-Gazette is reporting the Mason City School Board approved allowing Mason City High School to apply for membership in the Northeast Iowa Conference.  The newspaper says the move would save greatly on transportation costs for the Mason City School District, since it has a sports travel budget of $60,000 a year due to playing many matches against Des Moines area high schools.

Another issue is that Mason City High School has an enrollment around 800 students, while some Des Moines high school have double or almost triple that number.  That makes it difficult for Mason City to be competitive in sports.

Of course, if Mason City High School with its 810 students played in the NEIC, they would easily become the largest high school.  Waverly-Shell Rock has 521 students, Decorah has 454 students, Charles City has 394 students, Crestwood has 279 students, Waukon has 276 students, Oelwein has 261 students and New Hampton has 231 studsents.

To top it off, Mason City's interest in joining the Northeast Iowa Conference comes at a time when Oelwein High School has said in might leave the NEIC.

High school athletic directors from the seven current Northeast Iowa Conference are scheduled to hold a group meeting in February.