The perfect Storm was brewing

The West Michigan D League doesn’t get a lot of respect when it comes to other conferences. The league currently has nine schools, all Class D, and oftentimes is looked down upon by similar size conferences, not to mention bigger leagues.
But perhaps the bigger conferences, such as the Central State Activities Association, can learn something from the West Michigan D League.
Though the addition of Fremont Providence Christian is still months and votes away from becoming official, it appears the Storm will be coming to the WMD League beginning the next school year.
Providence Christian has only 70 students, the perfect number in the small league. Manistee Catholic Central is the smallest school in the conference with 59. In fact, only four of the nine schools currently boast an enrollment of more than 100, led by Brethren with 209.
Providence Christian also offers many of the same sports as the other schools in the league.
Now compare that to the addition of Newaygo into the Central State Activities Association, which also will switch leagues in the 2012-2013 school year. The Lions are a nice fit as well, it is the same size as many of the schools in the conference.
It is hard to imagine, however, Holton, Hesperia and White Cloud went willingly with this. Those schools already play schools that are more than double its size, another school just doesn’t seem like a good idea.
While schools in the conference have to look out for their best interest, they also should look at the greater good. Adding Newaygo doesn’t help anyone but the bigger schools.
Like Providence Christian, Newaygo does bring many positives with it, including offering freshman sports.
Soccer, which the CSAA has been crowning league championships even with four schools, will get another addition and make the winner of the league title more meaningful.
There are no plans for the CSAA going to two divisions, which is a good idea. The problem with the Western Waterways Activities Association, the league many schools in the CSAA belonged to before the WWAC, was dealing with school enrollment.
Administrators could never get a handle on the division concept.
There were three divisions, then two divisions, each based on enrollment.
Teams left the league, others joined, changing the complexion of the league from year to year. The range from the smallest to biggest went from 400 to nearly 1,000 students.
It was a headache for all involved.
It was a terrible idea.
Two divisions for the CSAA seems like it would be headed in the same direction.
The West Michigan D League might go to two divisions, for basketball only, if Providence Christian is added. That would cut down on the travel for all of the schools which is important when school administrators are looking to cut costs every way possible.
That doesn’t mean everything with Providence Christian is gold.
It doesn’t offer middle school sports like most of the other schools in the conference.
What it does bring is a sameness.
Providence Christian is like every other school within the league and should bring a competitiveness to the table in every sport.
But, the West Michigan D League got it right, regardless if principals, superintendents or school boards eventually don’t vote for Fremont Providence Christian.
Perhaps there, the CSAA could learn a thing or two from the smaller conference.

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