Classic 8 Conference to welcome Muskego

Published on: 8/16/2011

The Classic 8 Conference is one step away from its first-ever realignment, with the WIAA Board of Control giving initial approval to a plan that would swap Milwaukee Pius XI out in favor of Muskego, effective for the 2012-13 school year.

Pius would relocate to the Woodland, taking the place of St. Thomas More, which is shifting to a new conference constituted by several current members of the Midwest Classic Conference's south division. The plan needs final approval Oct. 14, and schools involved in the realignment have until Sept. 14 to appeal.

Muskego, currently a member of the Southeast, would leave behind an opening for Indian Trail Academy, a new public high school in Kenosha. That school has already opened and played junior varsity and freshman schedules but would be upgraded to varsity next fall.

The move makes sense on several levels. Pius, with an enrollment of 894, is currently one of only two schools in the Classic 8 below 1,200 students along with CMH and would fit with like-sized schools in the Woodland. It's also the easternmost school in the Classic 8 by far, located on 76th street in Milwaukee, and would be moved to a conference with closer schools geographically.

Likewise, Muskego is the westernmost member of the Southeast Conference and lone conference member in Waukesha County. With 1,705 students, the school's enrollment and location profiles similarly to other current Classic 8 schools.

The current Classic 8 model has been in place since the league started in fall of 1997.

Local members of the Midwest Classic, St. John's Northwestern Military Academy and Lake Country Lutheran, would remain in the 11-school MCC. Schools moving to the new conference from the MCC would primarily include schools in Racine and Kenosha Counties, as well as Whitefish Bay Dominican, Martin Luther in Greendale and Burlington Catholic Central.

Muskego has enjoyed success in numerous programs and would represent a competitive addition to the league. The boys soccer team has reached the state tournament four times in the past decade, including a championship run in 2009. The girls volleyball team has been to state seven of the last eight years, with two championships and one runner-up finish.

The wrestling team qualified for state three straight years from 2008-2010 and has eight individual state championships in school history, including two in 2011. The Warriors' presence on the mat would suddenly add a great deal of competitiveness to a conference that has typically been a two-horse race between Arrowhead and Mukwonago.

In addition, the Muskego summer baseball team reached the state semifinals in 2009, and the cross country and swimming teams have annually been competitive on the highest level. The football team is also expected to challenge Kenosha Bradford and Kenosha Tremper for a league title this year.