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Two Harbors High School Basketball and Golf Teams Set to Join the Iron Range Conference

In the dynamic world of high school athletics, change is inevitable, and for Two Harbors High School, another significant shift is on the horizon. Scott Ross, the Athletic Director for Two Harbors High School, with 18 years of experience in the position, has witnessed various transformations within the athletic landscape. Now, the school is set to embark on a new journey by joining the Iron Range Conference (IRC) for both the boys and girls basketball teams next season. Golf will swing into the IRC this spring.

Two Harbors High School initially entered the Polar League the same year Scott Ross assumed the role of Athletic Director. Before this, they had been part of the Lake Superior Conference. The recent announcement of the school’s move to the IRC comes as Rock Ridge, Hibbing, and Grand Rapids depart or plan to leave the IRC, making room for Two Harbors.

The North Shore Storm Hockey teams and the Two Harbors Agates Swim and Dive Teams already play in the IRC, as the Polar League didn’t include either sport.

“The IRC was nice enough to let us in those two sports in the last 2-3 years,” Scott Ross noted. “It gives our kids a chance to be in a conference.”

Additionally, the Polar League does not offer golf, making it challenging for Two Harbors as an independent team to find enough meets to compete in. Joining the IRC allows them to participate in scheduled golf meets, providing a more structured and competitive environment.

Scott Ross expressed the school’s enthusiasm about the decision, stating, “We’re pretty excited about it. We’re looking forward to it.”

He emphasized that the move does not affect Two Harbors’ membership in the Polar League Conference basketball for boys and girls. The school sees this as an opportunity for their students to compete for all-conference honors and titles in multiple conferences. (Some Iron Range teams take part in the IRC and participate in the Arrowhead Conference, as well.)

Being part of a conference has various benefits, one of which is the ease of scheduling. “Not being in a conference makes it hard to schedule games,” Scott Ross explained. The move to the IRC is viewed as a “win-win for everybody.”

The IRC schools for basketball next year will include Chisholm, Deer River, Ely, Greenway, International Falls, Mesabi East, and Two Harbors. The transition for basketball is expected to be seamless, with all schools already on the schedule for boys’ basketball. Chisholm and Deer River will be added to the girls’ basketball schedule.

Not all sports are making this move. Volleyball, baseball, softball, and track will remain outside the IRC, primarily due to the challenges of scheduling. Nordic ski and girls’ soccer are also not part of a conference at this time. Football, with its separate district scheduling, remains unaffected by the conference changes.

In summarizing the decision, Scott Ross expressed satisfaction, stating, “We’re pretty happy with this arrangement. We’ll have the best of both worlds.”  He anticipates that this move will provide increased opportunities for their athletes to compete, excel, and enjoy the camaraderie that comes with being part of a conference.

Feel free to reach out to me at sarahwritesnsj@yahoo.com  with any news we should news about!

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