Okaw loses conference member for 2016-17

Okaw loses conference member for 2016-17

The revamped Okaw Valley Conference will have a new look this school year.

And again in two years. Maroa-Forsyth will depart the league after its board of education voted 4-3 Monday night to join the Sangamo Conference once the 2016-17 school year starts.

“I wasn’t surprised that we’re headed to the Sangamo,” said Josh Jostes, the athletic director at Maroa-Forsyth. “This is probably a league that fits best for all of our sports, and that’s ultimately why our school board voted to leave (the Okaw).”

The move leaves the Okaw with only five member schools now: Monticello, Rantoul, St. Joseph-Ogden, St. Thomas More and Unity.

It will be interesting to see what happens now with the future of the Okaw, which will have six schools for the next two years until Maroa-Forsyth leaves. Conferences with fewer than six schools do not have their conference champion automatically make the playoffs in football.

Okaw President Brian Brooks, the principal at SJ-O, said the league had an agreement in place where the current structure of the conference would stay intact for five years to prevent any instability.

“We have not had any formal discussions yet as a group in terms of which schools we might express an interest in,” Brooks said. “Expansion will have to be a top priority with the five schools involved moving forward.”

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