A little bit over two weeks ago, I submitted this letter to the editor to many regional newspapers regarding the Nokomis school board hesitating at the idea of rejoining a conference the school helped create many years ago. Further continuation, I felt, or at least a follow-up, was indeed necessary. At the regularly scheduled school board on Tuesday, November 23, the Nokomis School Board voted to opt out of the South Central Conference by a vote of 4-3. After as much as I have fought for PRIOR to my writing the letter, ever since talks were swirling around of such possible circumstances, it has led to this moment and thus, my reprimand to the school board.
Dear Members of the Nokomis School Board, Athletic Director Timothy Page and Superintendent Scott Doerr,
Congratulations for putting our athletic department in grave jeopardy without having an athletic conference to be a part of beginning in 2012-13. This is above all the DUMBEST decision this school board has made ever in the history of the Nokomis school district.
You decided to opt out of a conference that Nokomis created over 80 years ago: the South Central Conference. How ignorant are you? You ever hear of the athletic equation CM=FP? Charter Member = Free Pass! You never had to apply, because Nokomis per se is considered one of the GODS of that conference!
You opted out of the SCC only because you exaggerated your claims that the Prairie State Conference will still be in existence in 2012. Should you decide to stay in the conference, you’re looking at Nokomis, Mt. Olive, Kincaid/South Fork (and if you’re lucky, Bunker Hill). In a public statement on the following Monday, the Illinois High School Association couldn’t help but reiterate their rule on conferences: an athletic conference in the IHSA MUST have at least five member schools or face dissolvation of the conference. To last recollection, North Macoupin and Pawnee have given their notice and will be joining the Sangamo Conference, Staunton and Gillespie are returning to the SCC and Bunker Hill is making every attempt to return to the Western Illinois Valley Conference. That leave three teams and will be facing dissolvation of the conference, which means you don’t have a conference to fall back on.
Nokomis is engulfed in the seas of four IHSA power conferences: South Central Conference, Central State Eight, Sangamo Conference and Western Illinois Valley Conference. You opted out of the SCC (and school size wasn’t the factor), school size and classification wouldn’t get us in CS8, you have to be in Sangamon County to be in Sangamo and we’re not far enough west to be in the WIVC (not to mention school size and classification). Sadly, the district’s best option is to go unaffiliated and maybe try creating another failure of a conference like the Prairie State Conference was. (Does your unaffiliated status in the 1984-85 school year ring a bell before you helped create the PSC?)
You just wanted to save costs, but in the wrong way – you’re punishing the athletic department and AD Timothy Page for all of the wrong reasons.