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One of my favorite local news stories for 2020: The aftermath of a Charles City vs. Waverly-Shell Rock baseball game

Posted: Wed, Jan 6, 2021 10:58 AM
Decorah baseball players stood with Charles City baseball players in a show of solidarity when the Comets visited Decorah following July's racial taunting

One of my favorite local news stories of 2020 involved the racist jeers directed to a Black baseball player on the Charles City Comets by Waverly-Shell Rock fans.  Not the incident itself--that was reprehensible--but the reaction that followed it.

Because often in the news, we careen from one story to the next and don't do a good enough job of following up on what happened next.  In the case of the Charles City Comets, what happened next was a decision by the Charles City School district that it didn't want to be involved in any future athletic contests with Waverly-Shell Rock.  In fact, it no longer wanted to belong to the Northeast Iowa Conference, of which Decorah is a member.

Because Oelwein Schools are already planning to leave the NEIC next year and because Charles City would leave in the 2022 school year, that would mark the end of the Northeast Iowa Conference--Iowa's oldest continuing high school athletic association.

Instead, it would appear that a new conference would not include Waverly-Shell Rock.  This ouster has even gotten support from New Hampton School District and seven superintendents from the NEIC school have signed a letter denouncing racism.

But it's not enough to sign statements--although that's a good start.  Taking action "speas louder than words"--and that's why this story is one of my favorite local news stories from 2020.