Editor’s note: this corrects an earlier version that reported OC schools were involved in today’s meeting. Today’s meeting involved COC schools only.
Eight remaining member schools of the Central Ozark Conference (COC) are going forward for next year without plans to expand the league. Republic, Carthage, Joplin, Nixa, Ozark, Willard, Neosho, and Webb City will remain in the COC after Branson and Carl Junction departed for the new Ozark Mountain Conference (OMC).
After a meeting today involving members of the COC, schools decided to go forward with their existing membership. Discussions about scheduling with the Ozark Conference are ongoing.
The biggest remaining hurdle is football scheduling. Republic activities director Trevyor Fisher said details are still being worked out, but a scheduling agreement between the COC and OC may allow for crossover games to fill an undetermined number of weeks in the football schedule.
Bolivar, Branson, Carl Junction, Logan-Rogersville, Marshfield, and West Plains will form the Ozark Mountain Conference in 2024. With Branson’s departure, Republic and Willard are the only two original members of the COC who remain a part of the conference.