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Gretna Media

The Student News Site of Gretna High School

Gretna Media

The Student News Site of Gretna High School

Gretna Media

Gretna Takes A Step Back

GHS Rejoins the Eastern Midlands Conference After Five Years
Harlee Boyd

Class A state championships, conference wins and district tournaments will be history as Gretna High School rejoins the Eastern Midlands Conference [EMC] in Class B next fall.

This decision was made between the administration, Central office and the school board because GHS will lose student population again in 2024-25 when the senior class is split with Gretna East. Next school year, it is projected that there will be around 1,000 students in the original GHS building. Over time, the population will slowly grow again as more neighborhoods continue to prosper in the area.

In Nebraska, high school conferences are split up based on the total population of grades nine through eleven. If that enrollment is over 850, then the school is considered Class A.

“We are going to be around 620 next year for grades nine through eleven, which puts us really right in the middle of Class B,” said athletic director Mathew Curtis said. “We just felt that the situation we are in, the size of our school, and different factors that go in with it, Class B would be the best thing for us, for our coaches, and for the next few years until we grow back up into a Class A status.”

GHS has had many accomplishments during the past five years spent in Class A. Many games, tournaments, performances and competitions were won which brought a spotlight to Gretna, making the used-to-be small town not seem so small after all.

“Gretna used to be in Class B and had a lot of success in Class B,” Curtis said. “We have been in Class A for the last five years, and have done really well in Class A, so there are no regrets. We just felt with our size and where we are at with Gretna East starting at the same time, it is the best thing for us.”

Before becoming Class A, Waverly, Blair, Ralston and Bennington were teams that GHS competed against. These schools will come back into the lineup next fall, altering the way many coaches shape their teams. GHS is set to face them again, bringing back old memories to some of the people in Gretna.

“I think renewing some old rivalries the community has known for years will be something they will look forward to,” head football coach Mike Kayl said. “Whether in B or A, we get a chance to compete against good opponents and play the game of football. That is all that matters.”

In 2017, the decision for GHS to join Class A was made when Gretna’s population rapidly accelerated. Returning to Class B will be welcomed by many in the area.

“In terms of impact, I think it is going to energize some people,” Curtis said. “I think people are going to be excited to start playing new teams and to start participating in new tournaments. Just really getting back to the old ways of doing business.”

Kayl said that when Gretna originally moved from Class B to Class A, they just dealt with it. They quickly got used to the new opponents after adjusting to being in a different conference. That strategy remains the same going into next year. The football team and the coaches will do what is necessary to be successful and work through the changes.

“If you talk to a lot of our coaches, they are ready for a change,” Curtis said. “They are excited to rejoin a conference they used to be a part of. It just feels right, it feels like the EMC is where we belong.”

No competition schedules for the next school year have been set.

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About the Contributor
Harlee Boyd, Reporter
Harlee Boyd is a sophomore at GHS and this is her second year with Gretna Media. She serves as a reporter. She is interested in journalism because she likes to share what is happening around the school and community. Her favorite thing to write is feature stories. Besides being in journalism she likes to barrel race, go shopping, hang out with friends, and go on vacations. 

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