Le Mars, Iowa — The Board of Education of the Le Mars Community Schools voted Wednesday night to leave the Lakes Conference and join the Missouri River Activities Conference.
Le Mars school officials say they were approached by the Missouri River Conference, and invited to become a part of that league. Officials decided the move made sense, allowing them to play more schools their size, as well as cut down on travel time and distance.
The Missouri River Activities Conference is comprised of Sioux City North, Sioux City West, Sioux City East, Bishop Heelan, Sgt. Bluff-Luton, and two Council Bluffs High Schools, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson.
Le Mars move from the Lakes Conference will leave just six teams, Spencer, Spirit Lake, Storm Lake, Estherville-Lincoln Central, Cherokee and Western Christian.
For several years the Lakes has been an eight-team conference, but dropped to seven teams when Emmetsburg withdrew to join the Twin Lakes Conference. With the departure of Le Mars, the Lakes Conference becomes a six-team league.
We talked to Spencer High School Athletic Director Ryan Sweeney who tells KIWA that, while challenging, a six-team conference can be made to work.
Sources tell KIWA that some schools in the area have been approached about joining the Lakes Conference in the wake of Le Mars’ departure, but no further information is available.
Le Mars will leave the Lakes and join the Missouri River Activities Conference in the 2019 year.