When the next school year begins the sports teams at Clarke College in Dubuque will begin competing in a new conference. The school is joining the Midwest Classic Conference this Fall after competing as a division three independent. The Crusaders at one time were members of the Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference but decided not to follow the other schools when it merged with Lake Michigan Conference.
Athletic director Curt Long says the students and coaches are all excited about getting into a conference and having championships to play for. He says beyond athletics it is important to find a conference with similar schools. Long says philosophies have to line up and they were in the same conference 12 years ago, so they’ll be renewing some rivalries.
Besides competing for championships, conference affiliation also makes it easier to put together schedules. He says one schedule is that some of the teams, such as basketball, can travel together. Long says the geographical layout is a good fit too. Clarke will become the eighth Iowa member of the MCC. The others are Ashford, Grand View, St. Ambrose, Iowa Wesleyan, William Penn, Mount Mercy and Waldorf.