Conference moves should benefit Alpena football

With Traverse City West on tap this week, there’s no doubt the Alpena High School football team faces a tall task.

As noted in Assistant Managing Editor James Andersen’s story on Monday, Alpena is 0-24 all-time against West. Additionally, Alpena is 5-19 against Traverse City Central in Big North Conference play and 0-11 since 2009.

Any way you slice it, the numbers aren’t pretty in head-to-head matchups, and Alpena’s coaches have acknowledged that both schools are hard to gameplan for.

But the recent news that West and Central intend to leave the Big North Conference for football after this season could be music to the Wildcats’ ears.

The Traverse City schools will join the Saginaw Valley League, and the remaining Big North schools, including Alpena, are rumored to be part of a new division of the Northern Michigan Football Conference, along with Sault Ste. Marie and Cheboygan.

Moving to a new conference should benefit all parties.

For Alpena and the remaining Big North schools, the move cuts down on travel and should make them more competitive. In the 24-year history of Big North football, West and Central have combined for 18 conference titles and won more than 70% of their conference games.

For the Traverse City schools, it gives them the chance to join a new conference and test themselves against new competition after years of dominating the Big North.

Alpena enjoys healthy rivalries with West and Central in sports like track and field, softball, and hockey, but a new conference affiliation could be a real shot in the arm for Alpena football and ultimately result in a few more wins.


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