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WestPAC Expands Football Membership

As received from the WestPAC:

The WestPAC officially announces the addition of three new affiliate members for the sport of
football – Gladstone, Kingsford & Menominee – with their first season of play beginning with the
fall 2023 season.

“The addition of these three storied and accomplished programs will help preserve 11 man
football in the Upper Peninsula for years to come,” according to WestPAC AD and Head Coach
Paul Jacobson of Negaunee.

Chris Hartman, AD at Kingsford – “Kingsford High School is very grateful to the West Pac for this
new opportunity. This new venture will ensure a full 9 game schedule from year to year. The
burden of obtaining a 9 game schedule at Kingsford High School has only been getting
worse. Affiliation with the WestPAC will also eliminate many hours and miles of travel that we
typically experience with traveling into Wisconsin and Lower Michigan. We look forward to
playing U.P. schools that we very seldom play and will potentially develop a new rivalry or two.”

Sam Larson, AD at Menominee – “We are looking forward to playing against a high level of
competition right here in the Upper Peninsula and seeing teams that match us in enrollment and
demographics. The competition in the WestPAC conference has a strong tradition in football with
many teams having great success in recent MHSAA postseason tournaments. We hope to be able
to add to the strength of the conference for years to come.

Dale Hongisto, AD at Gladstone – “This opportunity will make what is sometimes a scheduling
nightmare that much easier for all of us. It allows us to play a few teams that haven’t been on our
schedule in the past. Thank you to the WestPAC officials for inviting us, Kingsford, and
Menominee to join up to make this conference that much better.”

The new members will participate within the ‘Large’ Copper Division of the conference along
with Calumet, Houghton, Hancock, Negaunee and Westwood. The ‘Small’ Iron Division will
retain the membership of Bark River Harris, Gwinn, Iron Mountain, Ishpeming, L’Anse,
Manistique, and West Iron County. The annual conference schedule will initially include two
cross-over / nonconference dates within the divisions.

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