Breckenridge superintendent explains moving to MSAC

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 12:24 pm on Wednesday, March 25, 2015

BRECKENRIDGE — It’s official. Breckenridge will be moving to the Mid-State Activities Conference (MSAC) along with Merrill.

Breckenridge’s Board of Education voted on Monday night to switch its affiliation from the Tri-Valley Conference (TVC) West Division to the MSAC starting with the 2016-17 school year.

Merrill’s board had voted in February to make the move, also from the TVC-West to the MSAC, contingent on Breckenridge approving the move.

Breckenridge superintendent Dean Havelka said the mileage between schools in the TVC-West and MSAC were similar.

“Actually, when you do the mileage and the times to the MSAC schools vs. the TVC, we’re fairly close,” Havelka said. “We do have a couple of trips longer. But, by and large, that was not a huge consideration. We took that our of the equation when we started looking at it.”

This is the second time in five years Breckenridge has looked at joining the MSAC. In 2011, a task force was formed to decide if it’s better to move to the MSAC or stay in the TVC-West. The task force recommended staying in the TVC.

“One of our things is we’re shrinking,” Havelka said. “When we entered the TVC, we were pushing 330, 340 kids in the high school. Now we’re down in the 250 range. So we thought the schools in the MSAC were a similar size.”

Havelka said there were already relationships established with Carson City-Crystal, Montabella and Vestaburg schools, who are members of the MSAC with Ashley, Coleman and Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart.

“We play Vestaburg now in football and softball and baseball,” he said. “Back in the old days, when we were in the CSAA, we were a member of that league, with both Carson City and Montabella. So we have some history.”

The move to the MSAC had garnered wide support within Breckenridge, Havelka noted.

“The coaches were supportive of the move,” he said. “We had a public meeting Monday night and the folks that attended, we didn’t get any negative. I think it will good for our kids down the road.”

Havelka said Merrill was key to making the transition easier for Breckenridge to make the move.

“At this point, had Merrill decided not to move, it would have made our decision a little more difficult,” he said. “But I go back to the fact that our current size and the relationships we had with the MSAC schools, I think we would have looked at leaning to them.”

Having both schools move to MSAC helped make scheduling easier, Havelka said.

“I think one of the main apprehensions of making the move at that point (in 2011) was we would be going from an eight-team league to a seven-team league, and that was a concern because of scheduling,” he said. “The option of Breckenridge and Merrill moving gave the option of moving from an eight-team league to an eight-team league.”

The Huskies and Vandals are leaving Carrollton, Ithaca, Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary, Saginaw Valley Lutheran, St. Charles and St. Louis in the TVC-West.

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