W-P board elects to leave NEMC at end of school year
Updated Jan. 13 at 9:21 a.m.
WHITTEMORE — At its Jan. 11 regular meeting, the Whittemore-Prescott Board of Education voted unanimously to withdraw from the Northeast Michigan Conference, effective at the conclusion of the 2009-10 school year.
W-P Athletic Director Jeff Erickson, in his presentation to the board, said that it was necessary for the district to let the NEMC know of the board’s decision the following day, Tuesday, Jan. 12. Erickson also raised the possibility of Whittemore-Prescott joining with the Alcona, Oscoda, and Tawas districts to form a new athletic conference.
Erickson said that the NEMC would cease its operations after the end of the 2010-11 school year. “My understanding is that the league will be in existence for one more year after this year,” he said. “After that, other schools have applied to various places.”
It was at that point that Erickson brought up the possibility of forming a new league with the three aforementioned schools. Board President Steve Bassi said that Whittemore-Prescott’s placement in the league often put the Cardinals at a competitive disadvantage going up against larger schools in the conference.
“I think we should remove ourselves from this league and form a new league,” Bassi said, although he also brought up the possibility of Whittemore-Prescott competing in athletics without any conference affiliation.
The move by Whittemore-Prescott came approximately two months after the Tawas Area Schools district voted to withdraw from the NEMC. Erickson said at that time that Tawas had originally requested to be dropped from the conference for football only. However, he said that the other schools in the conference took a vote, and they would not allow Tawas to withdraw just for football. At that point, Erickson said Tawas withdrew from the league entirely.
The Jan. 11 meeting was not the first time the district has discussed joining another athletic conference. Erickson told the W-P school board on Dec. 14 that several of the teams had moved to start a new conference that was to include
W-P, Tawas, Standish-Sterling, Pinconning, Oscoda and Alcona. However, he said Alcona asked to be removed from consideration if Standish-Sterling and Pinconning were included, and that idea was dropped.
In other news, the board elected its officers for 2010. Bassi was elected as president, while Billie Jo Stone was elected vice president, Gary Gillings as secretary, and Russ Perrin as treasurer.?