It is the start of Winter sports season and the Missouri State High School Activities Association released the Class and District assignments for the upcoming 2023-24 campaign on Friday.
Below is each fall sport’s class and district along with their respective opponents.
Boys’ Basketball: Class 6 District 2 – Eureka, Kirkwood, Lafayette (Wildwood), Lebanon, Marquette, Northwest (Cedar Hill), Parkway South, and Waynesville.
Girls’ Basketball: Class 6 District 5 – Central, Glendale, Kickapoo, Lebanon, Nixa, Ozark, Republic, and Willard.
Boys’ Wrestling: Class 4 District 3 – Carthage, Central, Glendale, Joplin, Kickapoo, Lebanon, Lee’s Summit, Lee’s Summit West, Neosho, Nixa, Ozark, Ray-Pec, Republic, Smith-Cotton, Waynesville, and Willard.
Girls’ Wrestling: Class 2 District 3- Belton, Branson, Camdenton, Carthage, Central, Glendale, Joplin, Kickapoo, Lebanon, Lee’s Summit West, Neosho, Nixa, Ozark, Parkview, Ray-Pec, Republic, Rolla, Smith-Cotton, Waynesville, Webb City, and Willard.
Girls’ Swimming: Class 1 – Ladue Horton Watkins to host. Full list of schools can be found here.
Rumors that had been swirling around for months finally came to fruition on Wednesday morning when the creation of a new conference was announced.
Beginning in August of 2024, the Ozark Mountain Conference will come into existence.
The conference will consist of two former Ozark Conference schools in Bolivar and West Plains, two former Central Ozark Conference schools in Branson and Carl Junction, and two former Big 8 schools in Marshfield and Rogersville.
The big sport that the new conference will affect is football, as the Ozark Conference and Central Ozark Conference haven’t been able to play outside conference games for nearly 12 years in the regular season.
Moving forward, the Yellowjackets will have to schedule two non-conference games to play during the regular season after a 10-team conference meant a nine-game schedule against the rest of the conference.
As of Wednesday morning, decisions haven’t been made on what that will look like.
The following statements were made by the Bolivar and West Plains School Districts:
“A groundbreaking initiative is set to transform the educational and athletic landscape of public schools across southern Missouri. A newly established Ozark Mountain Conference is poised to kick off its inaugural competitive season in the fall of 2024. The new conference is a culmination of collaborative efforts by schools with shared values, sizes, and community beliefs.
A spokesperson for the conference expressed enthusiasm about the prospects, stating, “We are excited about this new opportunity for our schools and our kids. These schools came together looking for a ‘good fit,’ noting they have similar sizes, community beliefs, and district characteristics.””
“The Ozark Mountain Conference brings together districts that are similar in enrollment numbers, as well as shared values and community beliefs. High school enrollment numbers: Branson: 1,350, West Plains: 1,152, Carl Junction: 1,011, Marshfield: 903, Bolivar: 858, Logan-Rogersville: 734.
“These schools are well known for rich traditions and excellence in academics and athletics,”
said Dr. Richard Asbill, Superintendent of Bolivar Schools. “We are excited about the opportunities the Ozark Mountain Conference will offer our students.”
“Moving into a six-team conference of schools our size will allow us to continue to compete at a
high level while giving us flexibility in our non-conference schedule,” said Tim Pezzetti, Athletic
Director. “We are excited to be a founding member of the Ozark Mountain Conference, and we
appreciate the opportunity that the Ozark Conference has given us for the past three years.””