Western Big 6, Mid-States Six form football league
August 21, 2012QCA-TV
The Iowa-based Mississippi Athletic Conferencfe has its 10-team conference that plays a round-robin schedule for football. Starting in 2013, so will the newly formed football conference of 10 large Illinois schools.
THe Quad City Times reported Tuesday, Aug. 21, that the six Western Big 6 schools have each approved a football-only merger with four Peoria-area schools part of the Mid-States Six Conference. Quincy, a member of the WB6, became the last of its league's schools to approve the merger, that vote coming Monday night.
Earlier this month, school boards representing the WB6's Galesburg, Moline, Rock Island and United Township approved the merger, along with Rock Island Alleman. In July, the Peoria-based District 150 school board (Richwoods, Notre Dame, Central and Manual) approved its end of the deal.
A primary driver in forming the league was the WB6's inability to find non-confernece dates. Each WB6 school plays five conference games and four non-confernece contests, and several of the schools -- particularly, those in the Quad Cities -- were having to travel to Chicago and downstate Illinois to fill dates. In addition, the Iowa High School Athletic Association has put a moratorium on out-of-state football contests, putting the nix on possibly having MAC schools fill non-conference dates for metro-area WB6 teams.
The league will begin play in 2013, with each team from the new league having a round-robin schedule, just like the MAC has now. Ironically, it was just a year ago there was talk about the MAC, a Class 4A conference, dissolving for football in favor of district play, a format which Iowa's smaller schools have used since 1992.
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