By Michael S. Hoey

CORRESPONDENT

Delavan-Darien High School will officially leave the Southern Lakes Conference and join the Rock Valley Conference for the 2023-24 school year. The Comets were already slated to join the RVC in football next season. The WIAA Board of Control approved the move of all D-DHS athletics to the RVC at its March 8 meeting. 

The board actually approved two conference realignment plans that were advanced by the Conference Realignment Task Force Committee.

The one that impacts D-DHS was proposed originally by D-DHS and Monroe. The plan impacts the Badger, Big Eight, Southern Lakes, and Rock Valley Conferences. Delavan-Darien will move to the RVC and be replaced in the SLC by Beloit Memorial, which is leaving the Big Eight. Beloit Memorial was opposed to the move. In addition, McFarland will move from the RVC to the Badger Conference and Monroe will move from the Badger to the RVC. 

Athletic Director Guy Otte said the Comets are usually placed into the WIAA tournament series with RVC schools, so the move makes sense. It also addresses enrollment disparity concerns.

“The enrollment disparity between Delavan-Darien and the Southern Lakes schools continues to get wider and it logically makes sense for D-DHS to be placed into the Rock Valley,” Otte said. “We often play Rock Valley schools for non-conference games as the travel is minimal.”

Otte said since football was already slated to move to the RVC, he felt it was only a matter of time before the move was made for all sports.

“We feel we will have a better chance to compete in all sports, not just a select few,” he said. 

Otte said the school has been trying to move to the RVC for three years. The original proposal would have impacted four conferences and over 50 schools. Otte said the current plan is a hybrid of the plan proposed by D-DHS and another proposed by Monroe that affects the same number of conferences but fewer individual schools.

For more of the story, please see the print edition of the Delavan Enterprise.

 

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