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Eagle Update: Conference change

November 26, 2013

This past week the school board approved a resolution to leave the South Central Conference and join the new Big South Conference. All of the South Central Conference Schools have made this choi....

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Dec-09-13 4:05 PM

I think it was clear why every Superintendent/school board asked for opinions regarding the new conference - they were looking for legitimate reasons why they should not join the new conference (i.e. exponential costs, significant class time missed, or some other underlying issue). Having to find 6-8 JV hockey games is not a major problem, and people thinking that it is are completely out of touch with reality. Finding 6-8 JV hockey games won't be difficult.

The people who thought/think that joining the new conference is a mistake because of a lack of JV hockey programs within the conference should be pointed and laughed at. Really? JV Hockey is so important that the entire athletic department should take a step back to make accommodations?

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Dec-02-13 7:08 PM

Ultimately, does any of it really matter so long as they are doing well academically?

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Dec-02-13 1:43 PM

"If we have coaches and parents making disparaging comments about other schools or other programs, we don't need them involved with New Ulm programs."

If the Superintendent of your school district assumes a morally superior posture because a hockey coach (and the parents and supporters of a school district program) lay out logical reasons why they oppose entry into a new conference, then why go through the charade of asking for public input before that decision is made? What an arrogant statement. Opponents of your decision shared their concerns with entry to the Big South Conference, and you publicly vilify them for sharing their opinions because they dared to disagree with yours? Epic Fail of Leadership.

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Nov-28-13 6:48 AM

Let's hope it was just poor wording on Mr. Bertrang's part.

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Nov-28-13 12:12 AM

Typo: "and now that a decision has been made",

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Nov-28-13 12:12 AM

Typo: "and now that a decision has been made",

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Nov-28-13 12:11 AM

For the record, no where in the editorial did the superintendent mention the hockey or any other particular program or coach. He mentioned people had concerns and not that a decision has been made, we need to move on and support all our athletics. Go Eagles!!!

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Nov-27-13 10:19 PM

If Lourdes, West, Albert Lea, Austin, etc., were back in the section, would we be having this discussion? Would we be expressing our views in high numbers at a board meeting? Would we be feeling the sky is falling by being forced to play the likes of Windom, Redwood, Worthington, etc.?

I think these recent yearly state tourney appearances have made to many people think the program is SO much better then it actually is.

Even though it came from a rival, I have to agree with MHSTiger's thoughts that this letter served as damage control. I think hockey put the other Eagle sports in tough spots when they make the trips to opponents of the new conference. I think this is viewed as NEW ULM, not just hockey, hence Bertrang's letter.

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Nov-27-13 9:52 PM

One thing is for certain. If New Ulm does not make it to the state tournament this year, there will be a lot of people and coaches with egg on their face.

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Nov-27-13 9:13 PM

Skilled Laborer, really!

The hockey coaches job is to represent the hockey program. he did that! period.

The supers job is to run the school, all of it. He did that! period.

After the process, i have no complaints.

But, WHY, WHY did the super feel it necessary to write a "rebuttal" towards hockey. Is that part of his job now, to write rebuttals towards groups that voice an opinion that differs from his? Did hockey ever, ever critizise the super? NO! What double standard are you referring to?

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Nov-27-13 8:58 PM

I will repeat, I understand why the board made the decision they did. But if all the coaches (and parents) of the different programs were asked for their input, and hockey showed up in force to express their concerns, why is that being called "special interest" and "peer presure"? Arent' we suposed to show up at board meeting if we Gopherrock1, I agree with what you are saying just not exactly how you said it. Why is hockey being critizided for sticking up for its program? Should they have been silent and just accepted it and then complained later. It sounds like, because of the large showing at the board meeting, some different types of scheduling for JV is planned. Great, that is what the coaches concern was, the lose of JV games. But would that have happened without the concerns expressed? NO. Thank god we have coach who cares.

But why did the Super call out the hockey program IN THE PAPER for doing exactly what they should be doing, expressing the conce

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Nov-27-13 3:28 PM

Skilledlaborer: I read all of the articles written about the merger and its affects on sports teams in new ulm. At no time in any article did I read where the coach said they were elite or better than anyone else. The problem was lack of b squad games. Maybe you should read them again?

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Nov-27-13 3:04 PM

Silverfish-It was all fine and dandy when the hockey community and your coach were packing the board room to voice concerns and belittle other hockey programs in this part of the state. It was fine when your coach used Red's article twice to tell everyone what an elite program we have here in New Ulm. But the Supt. issues a rebuttal letter and you are all hot and bothered by it? Double standard in my opinion. We have a supt. with a spine!

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Nov-27-13 3:00 PM

I agree that the hockey parents and coaches approached the school board with their concerns. The board made their decision based on all the sports and activity programs, scheduling, funding, and what is best for students and their academics. They put what is best for the student athletes over the special interests of one or two programs. It is not communism or a dictator ship just because one group doesn't get their way. Many other people voiced their opinion for this change, but did not resort to peer pressure at a board meeting. This board and superintendent have been more than democratic about this process. Silent majority.

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Nov-27-13 2:39 PM

tigerpride, I believe if you would have been informed our hockey coached approached the school board with concerns that most of the teams that will now be in the conference have no JV teams so he will have players that will not be able to get proper playing time. I do not believe in volleyball or most other sports they are going to run into this problem!!

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Nov-27-13 12:50 PM

The message bertrang is sending here is that he is running a communist school. If you work for him you better do what he and the school board say or you will be fired. Don't ask questions and by all means don't try and stick up for what you believe in. I believe the hockey coach and hockey parents were sticking up for their sport. Now bertrang is doing the unprofessional thing by trashing them in the paper. Very unprofessional!!

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Nov-27-13 11:05 AM

Coaches have the opportunity to express themselves by speaking to board members, bringing their concerns to the activities committee and AD. Once the decision has been made, employees need to get on board and make it work. There will be a refinement process to work out issues. The end result is it will be better for our students as a whole.

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Nov-27-13 7:25 AM

feller 37; MHSTigerPride began his/her opinion by stating "I think". In light of that I would hope you, yourself have spoken directly with Mr. Bertrang, not others to know that someone is being "called out" before you state that. If not you are no different than MHSTigerPride and are just guessing while expressing an opinion. This of coarse,as most people know, simply causes drama

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Nov-27-13 12:07 AM


Finally, stay with me here.

I do hope all the coaches now do support the decisions made by the board, however I do not mean they have to be silent, stay passionate and make the best of this situation.

However, in your editorial in the last paragraph you thank the volunteers that have expressed interest about joining the task force about the future of the school. Great idea. I just hope, if one of those volunteers disagrees with one your decisions they wont' be called out in the the paper for it as you did in this case. Unless that is your goal, to only have followers on task force. If you ask for input, please accept it, whether you agree or not.

I will be quite now.

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Nov-26-13 11:45 PM

Next; to Mr. Bertrang.

The school board had to make a very difficult decision for what was best for the school overall. I had conversations with a couple of them and while they understood the Hockey concerns, they did have to look out for all programs. While i personally do think it will hurt hockey, I understand why the board did made the decision. We all go from here.

But let's not blame the hockey coach for expressing his concerns regarding what he thought was not in the best interests of "his" program. He is not hired to look out for all the other programs, just hockey. Which he did. If you (Mr. Bertrang) ask for input, will you only accept ones that agree with you? Indicating you "don't need them involved with New Ulm programs" is only slightly dictorial, isn't it?

I love the fact our coach is passionate about hockey to the extent you WILL voice his opinion. I just didn't think he had to be worried about being called out in the paper by the super for

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Nov-26-13 11:35 PM

Wow.... so many things to write, so little space.

First to MHStigerPride, well good for your volleyball team. We care. Second, your have your facts and timeline mixed up. New Ulm Hockey is concerned because of the lack of JV programs in most (not all) of the schools in the SWC. Your volleyball team has a super JV and if none of the SCC teams coming in have one your coach should be upset. No (or less) JV games and your program WILL suffer. Simple fact. Third, you indicatd all your teams supported the board decison. Well maybe we do as well, but BEFORE the decison was made, the coaches were asked to and they voiced their opinions towards what each coach thought was best for thier program. I would hope that your coaches felt they had the ability to voice their true opinion before the decision.

You are correct, NU hockey is not an elite program, but that is our coaches goal and passion (you mis-interpret as arrogance). He wants a better program, not a mediocre one.

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Nov-26-13 7:50 PM

Wow it must be boring in Marshall.....

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Nov-26-13 5:03 PM

I think Mr. Bertrang is writing this as a form of damage control that his hockey coach and hockey community has put him in with the other 12 schools of the newly formed Big South Conference.

I am parent of two current athletes at Marshall HS. We just brought home our third consecutive Class AA State Volleyball Championship. Our volleyball program is one of the most elite programs in the state. For the most part, the schools in the SCC are not at the competition level as those in the SWC in volleyball. This merger will force us to play the SCC schools which will mean we will have to lose some much better opponents and could affect our volleyball program.

HOWEVER unlike the arrogance of NU hockey and its coach, ALL of our teams have unified in support of the board decison.

NU hockey is not even on the CLASS A radar in the state and from reading the articles in your paper you would think Hermantown and Breck are knocking down there door to play them.

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