The Warsaw Wildcats will be leaving the Tri-County Conference at the end of the 2018 school year, SoBoCo Activities Director Pat Lacy confirmed last week.

The Wildcats will be forming a new conference – the Ozark Highlands Conference – along with school districts in southwest Missouri to begin play in the 2018-19 school year.

Lacy said he was not surprised by the move.

“It’s just a long haul for Warsaw to travel to many of the schools in our conference,” Lacy said. “They have a shrinking enrollment and that makes it tougher for them to compete in the Tri-County.”

Lacy will meet with the six other remaining Tri-County Activities Directors who will be discussing the future of the conference in a meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 26. Lacy said they had already talked with a number of schools that might make a good fit with the other Tri-County schools and that the conference might grow by either one or three schools.

“If we don’t add another school, it would be a scheduling nightmare for the rest of the Tri-County schools,” Lacy said.

Lacy emphasized that the Tri-County Conference’s bylaws dictate that any new school have a football program and that new conference members had to be approved by a vote of superintendents.

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