SEPT. 4 HOME STRETCH COLUMN — PETE TEMPLE, SPORTS EDITOR
With a change in conference will come several changes in scheduling formats for Monticello’s athletic teams.
Here, courtesy of Monticello activities director Tim Lambert, is a sport-by-sport rundown of how schedules and tournaments will work in the new River Valley Conference.
Football is not affected by the conference change. Football teams in Iowa (except for Class 4A) do not use conferences; they are assigned to districts every two years.
The conference meet will rotate between the divisions, first North, then South. This year’s meet will be hosted by Camanche (North), and held in Clinton Oct. 17.
The regular season schedule will see little change.
Lots of changes here. For one thing, there will not be a conference tournament in the River Valley. Instead, there will be a “crossover night,” where teams will play the team from the other division that occupied the same spot in the standings. The two division champions will meet, the two second place teams, and so on. The South schools will host this year’s crossover night on Oct. 17.
Because the South has one more team than the North, the two sixth place teams and the South seventh place team will play a three-team round robin that night.
As for the regular season, each team will face each opponent within the division, and two opponents from the opposite division.
Also, junior high/middle school matches within the conference will be on the same day as the high school ones, starting at 4 p.m.
Boys and girls basketball
There will be no overall conference champion, just two divisional champions. During the season, teams will play every team within their division twice (once home, once away), and the teams in the opposite division once. So teams in the North will get 17 total conference games, and South teams will get 18.
Playing the opposite division teams once per year helps with travel issues. For instance, Monticello will only need to travel to Mid-Prairie once every two years.
The conference tournament will involve all 13 schools. Host schools will rotate, with preference given to schools that have two gyms at one site. The tournament for the coming season will be Feb. 1, 2014 in Wilton.
In the regular season, teams will wrestle one dual with each of the other teams in the conference. Some of these will be dual meets; some will be double duals.
Boys and girls track
The final conference meet format hasn’t been settled, but officials are leaning toward two divisional meets instead of a 13-school “super meet.” Meets during the regular season will be largely unchanged from previous years.
Boys and girls golf
Teams will play each of the opponents within their division once. Boys and girls will face the same school on the same day, with one being home and one away.
The conference tournament format is undecided, whether to have divisional tournaments or a 13-school “super tournament.”
Boys and girls soccer
Unchanged from previous years. There will not be a conference schedule or champion. One scheduling change that may occur is to have more varsity girl-boy doubleheaders.
Baseball and softball
Teams will play varsity doubleheaders within the division, and varsity single games (preceded by JV) against the other division. Because the North Division has one fewer school, a single game against an additional North opponent will be added, so that each team in the conference has an equal number of games.