The Rock Valley Conference will have a familiar feel to it when the football season eventually comes around this spring.
2020 was supposed to be the first season of the WIAA’s realignment plan that was announced last year.
The plan featured Big Foot and Turner heading to the Capitol Conference, Brodhead-Juda going to the SWC and Clinton going to the Eastern Suburban Conference.
Instead, the RVC has decided to add Big Foot, Turner, Clinton, Columbus and Lodi to their conference to make a two-division setup with six teams each.
“The teams within their own divisions will all play each other in a round-robin, five-game season,” Rock Valley Conference commissioner Ray Vance said. “We aren’t playing the full seven weeks the WIAA allotted because we did not want football to extend into baseball, softball and track. They have already had one season canceled, and we didn’t think it was fair to those athletes. We wanted them to have their entire season.”
The cross country season is also shortened to just five weeks.
Edgewood, originally scheduled to be in the new-look RVC, is attempting to play football in the fall. The other teams to be included in the conference for football this spring are East Troy, Edgerton, Evansville, Jefferson, Monroe and Whitewater.
McFarland is also included on that list, but their Dane County home could make sports of any kind uncertain for the Spartans moving forward.
“The Dane County regulations state that in order for teams to get together and even practice, there have to be 19 or fewer cases in the county,” Vance said. “As of last week, there were 147. So they are very far away from that number as it stands now. If McFarland couldn’t go for the other sports, we would look to bring someone else in, or just go with a nine-team league for the spring.”
Vance is hopeful that winter sports can begin on time.
“I think the big thing we are looking at is how things are going with the indoor sports now,” Vance said. “The Southern Lakes and a few other conferences around here are doing volleyball. If that goes well and things are normal, I’m hoping we can get the winter sports started on time.”
While the WIAA’s timeline has already shortened the traditional winter season by three weeks, Vance said there is still ample opportunity to have plenty of action.
“For basketball, we are hoping for a full 18-game conference schedule,” Vance said. “In order to do that, we’re going to have to play some games on both sides on Mondays. So the boys and girls will rotate playing on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Some teams did want to scheduled a few nonconference games, but it’s tough to see anyone making it to the limit of 24 games.”
Wrestling, Vance said, is still to be determined in terms of schedule.
“That’s a different animal because of the way it’s scheduled,” Vance said. “They are really dependent on these large invitational meets on the weekends, and we aren’t sure if those are even going to be allowed. We might have to adapt a schedule that is just dual meets. But that is still to be determined.”