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Jackpine Conference to add four new members starting in 2024-25 school year

HARRISON- The Jackpine conference will be adding four schools to the conference in the beginning of the 2024-25 school year. Those four schools are Bullock Creek, Ogemaw Heights, St. Louis and Standish-Sterling High Schools. The Conference had already included Beaverton, Clare, Farwell, Gladwin, Harrison, Meridian, Pinconning, and Shepherd.

In the 2024-25 school year the conference will now transition to two separate divisions one for smaller schools and one for larger schools. The Athletic Director at Harrison High School, Brad Carlstrom led the push for expansion.

“we really valued what the, the Jackpine Conference and the storied traditions that the Jackpine Conference has. Um, we wanna stay with that instead of trying to leave to go different conference and then be unhappy there.” Carlstrom added, “So, instead of leaving the conference, maybe expanding and then just kind of through conversation and a long, long dialogue with all the ad’s a in the conference we came up with expanding.”


Carlstrom added that it’s all about the student athletes, “Anything we can do, put more of a spotlight on more student athletes, the better, adding more schools will have more all confidence towards of that. So we’re excited, to have more meaningful games throughout the season.”

Ogemaw Heights Athletic Director Jack Vliet thinks that the travel time it will cut down on his student athletes is a major advantage.

“It’s gonna allow our athletes, student athletes to arrive home in earlier time. Then they won’t be as tired the next morning after driving to go to St. Marie, the Traverse City schools, um, this can be the learn of a benefit, not only for them but their families.” Vliet added. “They can focus more on the important part, which is academics.”

The Ogemaw Heights Superintendent, Gail Hughey is excited for the opportunity to be in a conference. I think it’ll give our students more opportunities to be recognized, It’ll give our, our parents and students a home for athletics.” Hughey said. “We have not been in an athletic conference for several years, it’ll give us a more consistent schedule for our students and our families, and we’re excited that we have surrounding schools that will be able to play on a consistent basis.”

The Jackpine conference will now be made up of twelve schools.

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