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Changes in Six Rivers, SWAL in the works

Potosi/Cassville football co-op approved, now awaits WIAA approval

Changes in Six Rivers, SWAL in the works

Football players from Potosi and Cassville could be teammates as early as this fall.

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POSTED March 1, 2017 2:20 p.m.

According to WIAA Associate Director Debra Hauser, a recent push by those in the Southwest Wisconsin Activities League (SWAL) and the Six Rivers conference, looking to have Southwestern and Pecatonica/Argyle switch conferences for football only, is not on the agenda and will not be discussed during the WIAA's March Board of Control meeting as reported earlier by SWNews4U.com. And, according to Hauser, nothing definite has been determined at this time as to when the issue will be discussed.

The Superintendents of the Six Rivers conference voted 7–5 in favor of making the switch during a meeting on Jan. 24. After learning of the vote by the Superintendents of the Six Rivers conference, the Principals of the SWAL gathered on Feb. 1, and cast a 5–3 vote in favor of making the switch as well.

The notion of the switch first began a little more than a year ago as a result of Riverdale leaving the SWAL for the Ridge & Valley Conference in football only.

The loss of Riverdale left a hole in the SWAL football schedule, which was essentially filled with a crossover agreement with the Capitol Conference, which was also left with a hole in their schedules due to Wisconsin Heights making the switch to 8-man football.

This past season, that meant the Wildcats had to play Belleville, which beat Southwestern 50–0. It appears things are only about to get worse for the Wildcats too, who are scheduled to play Poynette this coming season and then Lodi the following season.

Southwestern, who had a 2016 student enrollment of 168, is considerably smaller than Poynette (342) and Lodi (508), who also have substantially successful football programs.

“That kind of got us thinking that we’ve got to look at something here,” said Southwestern AD Thomas Koeller.

The most logical, and perhaps most simple, option to explore, was that of Southwestern going to the Six Rivers conference in place of the Pecatonica/Argyle co-op, which after all, is better suited for the SWAL based on enrollment. With a combined student enrollment of 221, the Pecatonica/Argyle football co-op would make them the third largest program in the SWAL behind Cuba City (244) and Boscobel (244).

With a student enrollment of 168, Southwestern would be the second largest team in the Six Rivers conference behind the Potosi/Cassville co-op (191), and just ahead of the Benton/Scales Mound (145) co-op, which was also recently approved for a two-year renewal by Six Rivers administrators. If student enrollment isn’t enough of an indicator as to where each team fits best, you can always take a look at the competition factor.

Since joining their Six Rivers foes in 1994, Pecatonica/Argyle has accumulated a 23-year conference record of 153–31 (.831 winning percentage) to go along with 13 conference titles. During that time the Vikings have made the playoffs every year but two (1995, 2009) and have advanced past the second round nine times.

It’s also interesting to note that with Pecatonica/Argyle in the league, Potosi has been the second-most successful program, winning five conference titles (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014) and Cassville winning one (1994).

For Southwestern, they have accumulated a 16-year conference record of 34–72 in the SWAL (.321 winning percentage) with one conference title (2006), and have made four playoff appearances in that time, making it out of the second round once (2007).

Correction: It was reported earlier by SWNews4U.com that the proposal for the Southwestern-Pecatonica/Argyle football switch was on the agenda for the WIAA Board of Control March Meeting, which was later discovered to be incorrect. According to WIAA Associate Director Debra Hauser, nothing definite has been determined at this time as to when the issue will be discussed.

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