Bluegrass Conference (Iowa)
The Bluegrass Conference is a high school sports league in Iowa. Located in southern Iowa, the conference is home to some of the smallest schools in the state, including the smallest public school in Iowa.
|Institution||Location||Mascot||Colors||Affiliation||2012-2013 9-11 Enrollment|
|Ankeny Christian Academy||Ankeny||Eagles||Private||40|
|Grand View Christian||Des Moines||Thunder||Private||85|
|Iowa Christian Academy||West Des Moines||Trailblazers||Private||55|
|Mormon Trail||Garden Grove||Saints||Public||46|
The conference originated before 1960. Some of the members in the early days included Osceola, Bedford, Mount Ayr, Lamoni, Seymour, Corydon, and Leon. Lenox and Mormon Trail of Humeston joined the conference in 1960, as Osceola departed. In 1962, 4 schools left the conference to join the newly formed Tall Corn Conference. This left the conference with Lamoni, Leon, Mormon Trail, Corydon, Seymour, and Moravia. As the years went by, some schools changed names and Southeast Warren and Melcher-Dallas joined the conference, so that by 1990 the conference looked like this:
- Lamoni Community Schools
- Melcher-Dallas Schools
- Moravia Community Schools
- Mormon Trail Community Schools
- Wayne Community Schools
- S.E. Warren Community Schools
- Central Decatur (of Leon) Community Schools
- Seymour Community Schools
After losing some of the bigger schools to other conferences, the Bluegrass reached out to many of the smaller schools in the area. These new schools were some of the smallest in the state. The Bluegrass Conference operated with 12 teams for a while, but with three schools having been shut down in recent years, the conference is now left with just nine schools. In 2002, Fox Valley Community School in Milton closed its doors after the district voted to shut down the school and allow the kids to open enroll where they wished. The next casualty came in 2008, when Russell became the first public school to be shut down by the state in over a decade. East Monona had been the most recent. Then, in 2010, Lineville-Clio was closed by the state. Currently, Diagonal is the smallest public school in the state, with just 35 in its high school. Not all conference schools are in as bad of shape when it comes to enrollment numbers, but all schools are easily in the 1A classification (the smallest classification for schools in Iowa).
Starting in the 2013-14 academic year, the following schools joined the conference:
- Ankeny Christian Academy (Ankeny)
- Grandview Park Baptist School (Des Moines)
- Iowa Christian Academy (West Des Moines)
- Orient-Macksburg Community Schools
Despite the enrollment figures, all schools but Diagonal and Orient-Macksburg play football, fielding 8-man teams. Before Russell and Fox Valley shut down, they also played 8-man football. Most of the schools also field teams in baseball, softball, volleyball, basketball, and track and field.