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BETHANY — The 15 schools that withdrew from the Little Okaw Valley Conference, effective June 30, 2019 are "ready to move forward," said LOVC President Matt Shoaff, who is also the principal at Okaw Valley. 

The 15 schools are Arcola, Argenta-Oreana, Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond, Bement, Blue Ridge, Cerro Gordo, Cumberland, Decatur LSA, Heritage, Kansas, Oakland, Okaw Valley, Sangamon Valley, Shiloh and Villa Grove. 

The 2018-19 school year could be the final season for a conference that began play in 1971-72. The four schools that did not withdraw are Palestine, Hutsonville, Martinsville and Oblong. Should those schools choose to join another conference, the withdrawn schools can keep the LOVC name. 

Shoaff said the name is to be decided in the spring of 2019.

Of the 15 schools, there are 10 football teams: Arcola, A-L-A-H, Argenta-Oreana, Blue Ridge (starts all sports except football this school year and football in the 2019-20 school year), Cerro Gordo/Bement, Cumberland, Decatur LSA/Decatur Christian, Sangamon Valley/Tri-City, Tri-County (Oakland, Kansas and Shiloh sports co-op) and Villa Grove/Heritage. 

"The conference constitution has been written and passed," said Shoaff. "The schedules are ready."

With 10 football teams, there will be no non-conference games. This means that the Aug. 31 Arcola at Tuscola game is to be the only regular-season game between the two Douglas County schools. Originally it was a two-year deal. 

This year in football only Oblong is in a co-op with Palestine and Hutsonville. 

In volleyball, there will be 13 teams, and each team plays each other once. The volleyball teams are Arcola, Argenta-Oreana, A-L-A-H, Bement, Blue Ridge, Cerro Gordo, Cumberland, Decatur LSA, Heritage, Okaw Valley, Sangamon Valley, Tri-County and Villa Grove. 

Contact Mike Monahan at (217) 238-6854. Follow him on Twitter: @Monahanmikejgtc

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Sports writer

Mike Monahan covers area sports for the JG-TC.

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