West PAC to get new teams in 2018

Conference talk for the Western Peninsula Athletic teams. Calumet, Gogebic, Hancock, Houghton, Hurley, L'Anse, Northland Pines, and West Iron County.

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West PAC to get new teams in 2018

Postby 1stFP#15 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:44 am

West PAC football to add Norway, Bark River-Harris and Lake Linden-Hubbell in 2018. No to Munising, citing travel.
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Re: West PAC to get new teams in 2018

Postby Hambone » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:22 am

Not allowing Munising in because of travel is ridiculous, it's farther to travel to Bark River for most schools.
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Re: West PAC to get new teams in 2018

Postby Zarek » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:42 pm

With the current teams in the west pac, that would make the total amount of teams to 11. Do we know if anyone is leaving the west pac?
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Re: West PAC to get new teams in 2018

Postby 1stFP#15 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:24 pm

Ironwood dropped football and they joined the Co-op Gogebic Miners. So there will be 10 teams in 2018.
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Re: West PAC to get new teams in 2018

Postby quarterbackgr » Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:39 am

Does this mean that the Mid Eastern Conference is no more?
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Re: West PAC to get new teams in 2018

Postby Up Football Fan » Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:09 pm

1stFP#15 wrote:Ironwood dropped football and they joined the Co-op Gogebic Miners. So there will be 10 teams in 2018.


Gogebic replaced Ironwood in the West PAC....which will still have 8 schools in 2017....the addition of the other 3 means there will be 11 schools next year unless someone drops out, or the West PAC adds 1 more school to make it an even dozen..and then perhaps 2 divisions
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Re: West PAC to get new teams in 2018

Postby 1stFP#15 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:39 pm

Norway to join new conference for 2018 football season

BURT ANGELI - Sports Writer - The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN — Western Peninsula Athletic Conference will have additional football teams in 2018.

West PAC officials meeting Wednesday in Watersmeet approved Norway, Bark River-Harris and Lake Linden-Hubbell joining the league for football in 2018.

However, Munising’s bid was voted down. Travel was cited as the primary concern.

“Nobody really wanted to leave Munising out,” said West Iron County principal, athletic director and head football coach Mike Berutti. “You feel bad but some of these schools had three-hour (one-way trips to Munising).”

West PAC 11-man football for 2018 will consist of big and small-school divisions. West Iron County, Norway, Hurley (Wis), Bark River, Lake Linden and L’Anse will comprise the small; Calumet, Houghton, Hancock, Gogebic and Northland Pines (Eagle River, Wis.) are the big.

Gogebic — a co-op with Bessemer and Wakefield-Marenisco — had left the Mid-Eastern Conference after the 2016 season. Ironwood is now a part of the co-op.

Berutti hopes a 2018 West PAC football schedule will be assembled by next week. West PAC teams will also play cross-over games between the divisions.

“It won’t be easy (creating a schedule),” said Berutti, noting Iron Mountain will remain a non-conference football opponent for the Wykons. “We’ll put together a schedule and see how it goes from there.”

The Mid-Eastern Conference of Norway, Newberry, Bark River, Lake Linden and Munising will dissolve after the 2017 football season. Norway is a newcomer to the Mid-Eastern after playing in the Mid-Peninsula Conference for many years.

That group dropped to four with Newberry leaving for the Northern Michigan Football League (NMFL). Newberry football coach Fred Bryant told The Mining Journal that the Indians will join the Legacy Division with St. Ignace, Indian River Inland Lakes, Harbor Springs, Johannesburg-Lewiston, East Jordan and Gaylord St. Mary.

Newberry, according to Bryant, had applied to the NMFL a few years ago but was rejected.

With only four schools left, remaining Mid-Eastern Conference members looked for another conference.

According to Norway principal and athletic director Joe Tinti, those four Mid-Eastern schools first approached the Mid-Peninsula Conference. Turned down there, Tinti expressed appreciation to the West PAC for accepting the Knights.

“It’s fortunate that it worked out,” said Tinti, whose school board recently gave approval for Norway leaving the Mid-Eastern and joining the West PAC for football.

Gogebic will be the second largest team behind Hancock, a four school co-op, in the West PAC, based on enrollment.

“I’m very happy about it,” Bessemer athletic director Tim France said. “It’s going to make us a very strong conference. It’s going to be good for football. Bark River’s tough, Norway’s tough, Lake Linden’s always tough. So it’s going to be a very good conference.”

The competition remains excellent in the West PAC’s new small-school division. Those schools are closer to Hurley’s enrollment of 175 students enrollment than the schools in the large-school division, all of which have more than 400 students.

Since 2007, five of the West PAC championships have been won by what will be small-school teams, four of them by West Iron County and one by L’Anse.

“I’m not sure there’ll be all that much difference from the large teams and small teams. We’ll be playing teams more our size,” Hurley coach Scott Erickson said. “For us, being the smallest team by far, it might help us out down the road, playing teams more our size, but you never know. We were the smallest team this year and we finished second place.

“I’m happy for people like Lake Linden who will now have a place. It’ll be great to have them back on. Norway certainly will be a challenge and Bark River, that’s a long trip.”

(Jason Juno of The Daily Globe contributed to this story)
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Re: West PAC to get new teams in 2018

Postby 1stFP#15 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:45 pm

Munising left out of West PAC football expansion

STEVE BROWNLEE - The Daily News

MUNISING – It looks something like the game of musical chairs with Munising the school left without a good place to sit for the time being.

Members of the Mid-Eastern Football Conference – there will be five including the Mustangs this fall – were recently accepted into other leagues for 2018 as the league was shrinking away.

Except for one – Munising.

While Newberry headed south into the Legacy Division of the mostly Lower Peninsula-based Northern Michigan Football Conference, the other remaining MEFC members applied for membership in the Copper Country-based West PAC.

And again, all were accepted – except for Munising.

“We’re disappointed, though the decision was understandable,” MHS athletic director Deejay Paquette said. “There were concerns with travel.

“I respect their decision. Every school has got to do what’s best for them.”

All this shuffling around only impacts football – in nearly every other sport, Munising is well entrenched in the Skyline Central Conference with nine other schools in Alger, Delta, Menominee, Dickinson and Iron counties.

The football problem is due much to Skyline schools peeling off to play 8-player football.

“There’s only three Class D schools left in the Upper Peninsula playing 11-man – Lake Linden(-Hubbell), Bark River(-Harris) and us,” Paquette said. “We’ve lost six or our opponents the past few years going to 8-man.”

Munising, which this fall will be back in Class D after having been moved up to Class C for a couple years, would’ve been the eastern outlier in a West PAC football conference that will now include 11 schools split into big- and small-school divisions.

Bark River-Harris, straddling Menominee and Delta counties, will be the furthest east in a league that includes two schools near Ironwood – the Ironwood-Bessemer-Wakefield-Marenisco co-op called the Gogebic Miners and Ironwood’s cross-border neighbor of Hurley, Wisconsin.

There’s also West Iron County, Norway and Northland Pines of Eagle River, Wisconsin, all in the general Iron Mountain-Iron River area; L’Anse in Baraga County; and Calumet, Houghton, Hancock and Lake Linden-Hubbell in Houghton County.

Paquette said things are stable for the Mustangs this fall, the last of the MEFC, with an open date in Week 8, the second-to-last week of the season.

“But there’s definitely a concern for 2018,” Paquette said. “Right now we only have three games on our schedule – Westwood, Manistique and Newberry.”

He said he’s approaching some of the nearer schools of similar size – small Class C and large Class D – like Ishpeming and Gwinn.

And he’s hoping to keep a four-team MEFC going past 2017 with LL-H, Norway and Bark River-Harris. The other three schools would have dual membership with the West PAC.

“That would probably be the best-case scenario for us,” Paquette said.

Asked about the possibility of going to 8-player football, the Mustangs’ AD said that isn’t on the horizon.

“With 8-man, time will tell,” Paquette said. “But our numbers are strong right now. We’re good in 11-man.”

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Re: West PAC to get new teams in 2018

Postby quarterbackgr » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:13 am

Thanks for sharing the articles!
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Re: West PAC to get new teams in 2018

Postby 1stFP#15 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:13 pm

quarterbackgr wrote:Thanks for sharing the articles!


You're Welcome !!!
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Re: West PAC to get new teams in 2018

Postby amped0808 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:51 am

Kinda have to feel for Munising. Did they look into joining the NMFL by any chance? One would think that the West-PAC would look very hard at getting an even 12 teams instead of having two uneven division with 11 teams total.

Have to agree that this round of conference shuffling was a matter of time due to the progressive move of all the class D teams up here moving to 8-man. Now you are down to three (West-Pac, Great Northern, and Mid-Peninsula) (four if you count the NMFL Legacy Division with Iggy) 11 man conferences up in the UP.
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Re: West PAC to get new teams in 2018

Postby Hambone » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:54 am

There are a couple of teams closer geographically that may want into the West PAC. I fear the MPC may be in danger, forcing the bigger schools to join the Great Northern.
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Re: West PAC to get new teams in 2018

Postby Hambone » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:10 am

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Re: West PAC to get new teams in 2018

Postby Hambone » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:56 pm

The West PAC has accepted Munising, they will be placed in the small school division. L'Anse will move to the large giving each division six teams.
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Re: West PAC to get new teams in 2018

Postby quarterbackgr » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:30 am

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