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The Student News Site of Elkhorn High School

Antler Express

The Student News Site of Elkhorn High School

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Who will win the Heisman trophy?

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EMC’s New Faces

Two new schools join the Eastern Midlands Conference
New+EMC+school+flags+hang+in+the+Elkhorn+High+School+gym.+
Joseph Herrington
New EMC school flags hang in the Elkhorn High School gym.

The Eastern Midlands Conference is welcoming two new faces, which include the Standing Bear Grizzlies and the Hastings Tigers. The EMC is a Class B conference on the eastern side of Nebraska. It is a mixture of the most talented teams in Class B. The original seven teams before the expansion were the Bennington Badgers, Blair Bears, Elkhorn Antlers, Elkhorn North Wolves, Lincoln Northwest Aviators, Norris Titans, and the Waverly Vikings. The addition of the new schools add a new level of competition to the EMC as the conference is one of the best conferences in Nebraska for Class B sports.

“When Hastings has quality athletic teams, it absolutely benefits us to have them in the EMC,” head varsity football coach and social studies teacher Dan Feickert said.

The new schools Hastings and Standing Bear are a valuable asset to have in the EMC, as both teams are going to eventually have solid teams to add to the competition level in the near future. These teams were added through a specific process. Hastings, for example, left their conference and joined the EMC.

“Hastings put an application in at the beginning of last year so once that application got approved through our executive council of the EMC, then superintendents had to first take it back to their school board,” Assistant Principal and Activities Director Sara Fjell said. 

“Then after the school board decides that this is something that they could vote on, that gets voted on by our conference.” 

The EMC voted for the addition of Lincoln Northwest and Lincoln Standing Bear two years ago. They added Lincoln Northwest first, then Lincoln Standing Bear the following year.

The addition of Hastings and Standing Bear was put in place at the start of the school year. This would allow the change of the EMC to be enacted and give new light on these schools. This can cause some issues, especially with travel since Standing Bear is in Lincoln and Hastings is almost a two and a half hour drive from Elkhorn.

“Hastings, it is just the travel, being taken away from instructional time, students missing class, so I’m interested to see how that’s going to work,” head varsity softball coach and math teacher Timothy Peterson said.

“Two and a half hours on a bus to Hastings is definitely something that you have to plan for,” head varsity boys basketball coach and social studies teacher Nick Thompson said.

All of these coaches and teachers seem to agree on one thing: travel is going to be a deciding factor for sports games. Standing Bear will not be as detrimental because Norris is in the EMC and that is around Lincoln, so Elkhorn is used to traveling there. As for the student athletes at Elkhorn High School, they are welcoming the change.

“It opens up more opportunities. Hastings is a reputable school and the EMC is pretty dominant, so I don’t think it will hinder our schedule too much,” varsity football captain and starting quarterback Kayd Matthews said. 

Since the EMC is already a dominant conference in Nebraska, the addition of Hastings and Standing Bear will only add to the competition and drive to win. With the addition of the new schools, student athletes are expected to be ready for the new competition levels that the schools bring.

“It is gonna affect everyone because they are gonna have to travel more. There’s more competition because there are more teams to play,” softball pitcher and shooting guard Emerson Karstens said.

The travel is an added change to the EMC, but the schools have to adapt to it. The good thing with these changes is the added competition level. It is always good to add new competition when it gets dry from time to time.

“I like it because it adds new competition. It’ll affect Elkhorn High School positively because historically, we are pretty good against these teams,” senior basketball and baseball player Colin Comstock said. 

The student athletes are adapting to the change and are prepared to play against these teams. The competition increases when you add good teams to a conference. Both of these have the capability to give the teams in the EMC a run for their money.

 “You’re adding three solid opponents year in and year out,” Thompson said. 

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About the Contributors
Joseph Herrington
Joseph Herrington, Reporter
Joseph is a junior and a first-year reporter for the Antler Express.
Garhett Goldal
Garhett Goldal, Reporter
Garhett is a junior and a first-year reporter for the Antler Express.
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