Sports Column: Should Berlin move on from East Central Conference?


Joey Femali, Editor-in-chief

Since 2015, Berlin has been a member of the East Central Conference. A conference that holds teams an average of 45 minutes away from each other with regular sports. When you factor in just football, it is an average travel time of one hour and four minutes. 

It is ridiculous for athletes to have to deal with traveling this far at times. With games not getting done until 9 p.m., and some busses not leaving until 9:30 when athletes get back on busses that means kids will not be coming back to Berlin until 10:30 at night. Also have to factor in athletes who live out in the country. Some students would not be arriving at home until 11:15 at night at times. Students also have to maintain grades and sleep well to perform at their highest. This is an impossible task to ask of athletes given these time frames.

Now, you may be asking why bring all these stats up? Because it is time for Berlin to explore hard into conference changes. It’s time for the WIAA to start to factor all of these into new conferences and rebuild completely from scratch. Below is the theoretical conference that would make sense for Berlin to be a part of and why they should.

Between the Highways Conference

  • Berlin
  • Omro
  • Ripon
  • Wautoma
  • Waupun
  • Winneconne
  • Laconia
  • North Fond Du Lac

The name originates from being between Highway 41 and 39 and could be changed at any time. The conference itself would be a good conference in terms of enrollment. With the highest enrollment being Waupun at 541students and the lowest being Omro at 338 students. 

This conference would be more travel efficient with the longest trip being one hour and three minutes long. 

The conference would be very open and filled with competition, providing fair matchups in football with Berlin, Winneconne, Omro, Wautoma and Ripon all in that mix. You also get matchups in girls basketball with power house teams like Laconia and Waupun. 

This would form a very competitive and decent sized conference with many opportunities for multiple schools to compete and win the conference. It benefits athletes with travel being lessened and easier on the athletes.