“I’m confident this year will look different,” said Jeff Fern, Director of Athletics for the School District of Amery when approaching the Board of Education concerning the district’s renewal in the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA).

Fern said, “We won’t have two tickets, four tickets, masks, live-stream links for every level; I am hopeful. It seems like five years ago we were planning fall sports and pushing back until after school started.” He said he was confident things were going to run more efficiently without a pandemic.

A year without as many restrictions will not be the only difference during the 2021-2022 season. New Richmond, a long-time rival of the Amery Warriors, is moving from the Middle Border Conference (MBC) to the Big Rivers Conference.

“They are a school of over 1,000 kids, it is time for them to move on. They are ready to make the move and we will welcome in Altoona,” said Fern.

He said the Warriors already play Altoona in a number of non-conference sporting events.

“It is a good-fit for Altoona and Big Rivers is a good fit for New Richmond,” Fern said.

Altoona will move many of its sports teams from the Cloverbelt Conference. This change affects high school sports with the exception of football, girl’s golf and wrestling.

Altoona’s Athletic Director Elissa Upward said in a social media post that the move will “create cohesiveness,” and it will provide “scheduling relief.”

The MBC now consists of the School Districts of Altoona, Amery, Baldwin-Woodville, Ellsworth, Osceola, Prescott, Saint Croix Central and Somerset.

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