Lincoln Northwest, Standing Bear High Schools To Join Eastern Midlands Conference

LINCOLN–(LPS News Release Nov. 10)–Eastern Midlands Conference (EMC) voted at its meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 10, to add Lincoln’s two newest high schools – Northwest and Standing Bear – to its conference. Lincoln Northwest High School will officially join and participate in conference activities upon the school’s opening in August 2022. Standing Bear High School will open and begin competing the following year (August 2023).

“We believe Lincoln Northwest and Standing Bear will be an ideal fit for our conference,” said EMC President and Blair Community Schools Superintendent Randy Gilson. “They exemplify the same high values for academics and sportsmanship and encourage participation in fine arts, activities, and athletics.”

The Eastern Midland Conference began in 1980. Member schools are Bennington, Blair, Elkhorn, Elkhorn North, Norris, Waverly, and now Lincoln Northwest and Standing Bear high schools.

“We are excited and honored to be included in a highly competitive conference that exemplifies our mission and ideals of aiding in the overall growth of student-athletes including academic achievement, skill development and sportsmanship,” said LPS Athletic Director Kathi Wieskamp.

Through the community high school planning process and the bond referendum, LPS planned both Northwest and Standing Bear high schools to open under 1,000 students, with room for growth and expansion to 2,000 as student enrollment in Lincoln grows. This classifies the new high schools as Class B under the Nebraska School Activities Association bylaws. The NSAA classifies schools based on enrollment in grades 9-11, and are re-evaluated every two years.

Wieskamp added, “Starting in Class B will be important for the development and safety of our students, and allow the programs to be competitive as they continue to grow.”

Northwest High School Principal Cedric Cooper said, “We feel very lucky to have such a positive family of schools with which to compete and collaborate. We now have activities to speak with future Falcons about and the opportunities available to them.”

Northwest High School Athletic Director Rob Psencik added, “A strong conference allows our school to have immediate access to full competitive schedules, opportunities to participate in tournaments and festivals, and the ability to collaborate with students, coaches and administrators on a regular basis.”