The Eastern Missouri Conference may hold a vote on the addition of Louisiana High School to the conference in a board of directors meeting later this month, according to Clopton High School Principal Larry Twellman.
Twellman, who is also the President of the Eastern Missouri Conference Board, said he has invited Louisiana High School Principal Derek Branstetter to the closed-doors meeting at Silex High School in rural Lincoln County. He said he expects Branstetter to present on “Louisiana’s willingness and desire to join the Eastern Missouri Conference.”
The Louisiana School District’s Board of Education voted 6-1 in favor of leaving the Clarence Cannon Conference in mid-August.
Lagemann said that while voting on Louisiana High School’s admission into the storied athletic conference is not currently on the agenda for the September 20 meeting, he would not be surprised if a vote was taken that evening.
“I am hopeful that a vote will be taken that evening,” Lagemann said in an interview. “I know that our conference’s athletic directors would rather know sooner rather than later about adding Louisiana to the schedule.”
When reached by telephone last week by the Times, Bowling Green High School Athletic Director Matt Chance said that he too was optimistic a vote would be taken September 20.
According to Chance, it has been discussed that the Bulldogs would be able to join the conference next year in basketball, baseball, softball, golf, track and field, volleyball, speech and debate, music activities, scholar bowl, and other activities within the Eastern Missouri Conference.
The Bulldogs would join the EMO in football in 2020 per the current proposal, according to Chance.
This delay would allow for the EMO schools to fulfill their current scheduling agreements, which are made at least two years prior to the athletics season.
Lagemann said he expects an in-depth discussion amongst board members and the conference’s athletic directors about the implications of adding Louisiana to the existing schedules.
“I believe that one of the big hurdles is that adding Louisiana in football would throw the conference into an odd number of teams competing,” Lagemann said. “I am sure the athletic directors may have some concerns and this meeting will give them a chance to talk about them.”
According to Lagemann, the ultimate vote on whether to add Louisiana High School will rest with the principals from the Eastern Missouri Conference high schools. When the principals reach a decision regarding Louisiana, Lagemann said the conference would be issuing a news release to local and regional media.