CRYSTAL FALLS—Will Forest Park basketball teams be playing in an enlarged Skyline Conference in two years?
In his monthly report to the Forest Park School Board, Athletic Director Dwaine Anderson reported on discussions that may merge the Skyline and Central U.P. (CUP) conferences in basketball starting with the 2014-15 season.
“I am currently working on how this will affect Forest Park as far as scheduling, mileage and other logistical information is concerned,” Anderson continued.
Once the information is compiled, it will be submitted to Superintendent Becky Waters and Principal Lisa Olson.
At present, the Skyline and CUP conferences both have eight schools. Five teams are in both conferences: Rapid River, Bark River-Harris, North Central, Mid Peninsula and Carney-Nadeau.
Skyline-only schools are Forest Park, North Dickinson and Republic-Michigamme. CUP-only schools are Big Bay de Noc, Superior Central and Munising.
Republic, which only fielded a boys basketball team this winter, has announced it is leaving the Skyline Conference effective 2014-15 to join the Copper Country Conference, something it has tried to do for the last two years. The Hawks will remain in the Skyline in 2013-14.
Under the current setup, Forest Park’s farthest conference rival is Mid Peninsula, located near Perkins. If the CUP schools are added, the Trojans would add games in Eben Junction, Cooks and Munising, all over a hundred miles away.
Forest Park is the westernmost school in both the current Skyline Conference and the proposed new conference.
With 10 teams in the new conference, it is not known whether a team would play a home-and-away series with the other nine teams each year. That would fill 18 of the 20 playing dates, leaving just two slots for non-conference games.
One approach may be to split into east and west divisions, with two games against the other four teams in your division and one each against the five teams in the other division. That would mean 13 conference games, leaving openings for seven non-conference dates.
Anderson said all schools involved must give their approval or disapproval at the Skyline Conference’s fall meeting on Sept. 11.