Collinsville and Granite City were admitted Monday night as temporary members of the Mississippi Valley Conference in football for the 2021 spring season.
Both programs are independent in football — Granite City is for all sports; Collinsville is in the Southwestern Conference for sports other than football — and are being granted MVC membership only for the historic spring campaign necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.
“As soon as the Illinois High School Association moved things to the spring and told us to anticipate a seven-game regular season, we decided to tinker a bit,” Triad athletics director Kenny Deatherage said. “They are independent as far as football is concerned and I know they were struggling for sure as far as the number of teams they'd have to reschedule. It seemed like a seamless fit with those guys being in our region.”
The IHSA announced the modified 2020-21 season July 29, moving football from the fall to the spring along with boys soccer and girls volleyball — all sports considered high risk under COVID-19 guidelines. Practices for spring sports are scheduled to begin Feb. 15, with the season scheduled to conclude May 1.
Schools are limited to schedule against teams in their conference or COVID region, which the Illinois Department of Health has divided among county lines.
Granite City's original schedule included three games against Missouri teams that had to be canceled. The invitation to join the MVC for this year was just perfect timing.
“Everything kind of worked out perfectly,” Granite City athletics director John Moad said. “We couldn't have asked for a better place to be in this year.”
The addition of Collinsville and Granite City to regular MVC members Triad, Highland, Jerseyville, Mascoutah, Waterloo and Civic Memorial gives the league eight schools and thus an easy seven-game schedule.
"The Collinsville High School athletic department is excited about the opportunity for our CHS football team to join the Mississippi Valley Conference for the 2020-21 football season," the Kahoks athletics department Tweeted on Monday.
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