October 25, 2014

SSC still attempting to join Tri-Valley Conference

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STANDISH — Standish-Sterling Central athletics is facing becoming an independent for next sports season.

Superintendent Michael Dodge said the situation for Standish-Sterling Central High School is simple.

“We are looking for a (conference) that is a good fit for us,” he said. “As of right now, we are still an independent for next year.”

Dodge said the Tri-Valley Conference would be a good fit for SSC. The conference recently held a meeting and discussed realignment.

“We have good fans and great facilities,” he said. “Right now we just have to wait for the realignment process to play out.”

Athletic director Ben Welmers said he has submitted three applications in the last four years to join the conference, which currently has 24 schools.

“With a league that size, they look at realignment often,” he said.

Welmers said Standish-Sterling joining the conference would raise the issue of the distance between schools. He added that if the school becomes an independent, travel would be even more of a problem.

“A real problem is basketball season,” he said. “You have late night games on Fridays. When everyone around (us) is in a league, that’s a problem.”

The Tri-Valley Conference currently has three divisions of eight teams. Welmers said Standish-Sterling Central is a good fit for the conference.

“What put the (Northeast Michigan Conference) under was the discrepancy of student enrollment between schools,” he said. “You had schools like John Glenn who had 900 students and others like Whittemore-Prescott who had 300.”

Welmers said the school has also looked at joining the Jack Pine Conference.

“We have applied, but they (Jack Pine Conference) are happy with eight schools,” he said. “They don’t want to go to 10 schools, and it would be hard to expand to 12.”

Right now, Welmers said all the school can do is wait and be ready.

“Right now we will be an independent next year,” he said. “We would be more than happy to join the Tri-Valley.

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