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Beatrice Public Schools will join a new conference, called the Trailblazer Conference, starting in the 2020-21 school year.

The Beatrice Board of Education unanimously voted to leave the current River Cities Conference and join the new conference during its meeting Monday night.

The other schools include Nebraska City, Plattsmouth, Ralston and Springfield-Platteview. Wahoo is scheduled to vote on joining the conference during its Board of Education meeting on Monday.

“Our six districts saw the rare chance to unite and deepen our relationships athletically, academically, artistically, and across our communities,” said Superintendent Dr. Richard Hasty of Plattsmouth Community Schools in a joint statement released Monday evening.

Beatrice superintendent Jason Alexander said he thinks the Trailblazer Conference will be more competitive on both the middle school and high school levels.

“I hope our kids will take this opportunity, as well as all other opportunities on either district or state level, and make the most of it,” Alexander said.

Alexander said that a couple schools are in talks to join the conference starting in the 2022-23 school year, as well.

Neal Randel, Beatrice High School activities director, said that a big pull for the conference change was looking for schools that are demographically similar.

“Beatrice is not necessarily a growing district, and some of those other Class B schools are growing so rapidly that there’s a feeling, perhaps, that’s it’s not an even playing field… I just think we align better with some of the schools that are in this new conference,” Randel said.

Randel said that Beatrice will still compete with other schools that are not in the Trailblazer Conference.

“We’ve had a good relationship with the River Cities Conference, and I would anticipate that we still continue to compete with them in some things,” Randel said.

While planning for the new conference is already underway, each district will remain in their respective conference for the 2019-20 school year.

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