Crookston High School has been invited to form a new athletic conference within the Heart O' Lakes Conference with Fergus Falls and three other schools after Fergus Falls is looking to pull out of its current conference, Central Lakes.
The other schools invited are Detroit Lakes, Thief River Falls and East Grand Forks.
Crookston currently belongs to the Heart O' Lakes Conference, which is split into larger and smaller schools with Crookston grouped with the larger. There is a possibility that, based on enrollment, Crookston could drop to the smaller group and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton could move up.
During Monday's school board meeting, Activities Director Don Donarski outlined the proposition, in which Crookston could pick and choose which athletic programs join this new conference.
In football, Crookston is Class 3A, while the three other schools are all Class 4A. Basketball is similar with Crookston at 2A and the three other schools a class above.
"We're by far the smallest of the group," Donarski said. "Do we want to be associated with a conference where we're the smallest? That's why Fergus Falls is moving out of Central Lakes. They haven't won since they moved into there."
School board member Frank Fee explained that Fergus Falls dropped Crookston in everything around a decade ago and he's not in favor of doing anything with them at all. However, Fee was not opposed to certain sports joining the new conference if they wanted.
Donarski noted that when Pirate coaches were asked if they would be in favor of joining this conference with larger schools, most said no.
Tennis and danceline did say they would be in favor of joining the new conference, while track and field was split.
Currently tennis and treasurette danceline do not belong to a conference and doing so would give recognition to athletes in the form of all-conference awards.
"Crookston has a solid tennis tradition, but students have gone unrecognized," Donarski explained.
Fee noted that Crookston should start a tennis conference with East Grand Forks, Thief River Falls and Roseau.
Donarski explained that Thief River Falls, East Grand Forks and Detroit Lakes all see this new conference as a good fit and he sees it going forward.