The Hawkeye 10 Conference has announced a restructuring of its boys and girls basketball schedule beginning in the 2010-2011 season.
League officials announced last week the conference will be broken into a north and south division. The following schools will make up the northern division of the conference: Atlantic, Denison, Harlan, Kuemper, and Lewis Central. The southern division schools will be: Clarinda, Creston, Glenwood, Red Oak and Shenandoah.
Each conference school will play each school in their division twice giving each team a total of 13 conference games. A conference champion will be determined from that 13 game schedule. Each division will have a divisional winner, but the conference will only recognize the conference champion from the 13 game schedule. Previous conference seasons saw Hawkeye 10 teams playing 18 conference games.
If a conference team from the opposite division chooses to play a school from the other division a second time that season, the game will be considered a non-conference game.
The Hawkeye 10 Conference school enrollments have fluctuated in recent years with schools ranging from Classes 2A, 3A, and 4A according to Iowa High School Athletic Association and Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union classifications.
That difference in enrollment and competition could help even the playing field, said Glenwood Athletic Director Scott Arkfeld.
“With the difference in school enrollment from top to bottom, competition in basketball has been a big problem for some schools,” said Arkfeld. “Except basketball, other sports have been pretty competitive overall. The state schedules football while baseball and softball has so many games that it works out in the end.”
Glenwood boys basketball coach Curt Schulte likes the change and while he admits it really won't change his team's schedule much for the first few years, he does like the idea less conference games can free up his team's non-conference scheduling in the long run.
“The first couple of years we will still probably play the same 18 games,” said Schulte, adding the extra northern division game his team loses on the conference schedule will likely be added as non-conference games. “But down the road, it won't have to be that way and we'll be able to get some new teams outside the conference.”
Schulte said the two division format is nice for scheduling but it won't change his team's goal of winning the conference title.
“We want to win the overall Hawkeye 10 title but this does give us a secondary goal every season of winning the southern division title,” said Schulte.
If the 2010-2011 division format were applied this past season, the Glenwood boys and girls would have both been the southern division champs. The boys finished last season 7-1 against southern division opponents and 1-9 against the north in conference games. The girls were also 7-1 against the south and 1-9 against the north.