Discussions centering on conference changes for Watertown-Mayer High School athletics swirled around during the Watertown-Mayer School Board meeting on Monday, April 18, with the district merely exploring its options for the future of its athletic programs.
Watertown-Mayer is currently a member of the Minnesota River Conference (MRC). It joined the MRC, a conference suited for smaller schools, last year. Before the switch, Watertown-Mayer played in the Wright County Conference (WCC). The primary reason Watertown-Mayer left the WCC is to align with schools with similar size. Some other WCC schools include Orono, Waconia and Mound Westonka.
Currently, the WCC is comprised of 11 teams (12 when you factor in Marshal being a football-only member). The teams are separated into two divisions, East and West, with the West division encompassing smaller schools such as Litchfield and Annandale.
With divisional teams playing most of their games against divisional opponents, the smaller schools in the WCC will primarily play against schools of their size, something that wasn’t the case when Watertown-Mayer made its original move to the MRC. If Watertown-Mayer were to switch back to the WCC, it would give the conference an equal balance of 12 teams.
It is important to know, Watertown-Mayer Activities Director Mary Haugen reiterated that these are only discussions and Watertown-Mayer and the WCC are simply sharing information.
Another element factoring into Watertown-Mayer’s curiosity in converting back to its original conference is related to its gymnastics and soccer programs. Currently, the MRC does not support soccer or gymnastics. So Watertown-Mayer soccer and gymnastic teams are operating independently and not under a specific conference. Making a switch back to the WCC would allow Watertown-Mayer to have its soccer and gymnastics team be supported by an official high school conference.
Yet another tentacle in this complex paradigm is Delano High School.
The Delano girls swim team are departing from the co-op team they had with Watertown-Mayer girls swim team. As it stands, the Watertown-Mayer girls swim team will be abandoned and left to fend for itself without a conference. Since the boy’s swim team is still a co-op with Holy Family, their program will not be effected by Delano’s independendence.
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