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Williams Woods University and Missouri Baptist University will Join the Heart of America in 25-26 Academic Year

Yates Auctioneer service Monticell Mo Lewis County Missouri

Announced on April 5th the two prestigious universities will become full time members of the Heart of America Athletic Conference moving from the American Midwest Conference. Bringing their talent to showcase in one of the toughest conferences.

Missouri Baptist is currently honorary member of the HAAC as they had no place to play conference Men’s Volleyball. And in 2023 they would add football to their program and be members of the HAAC for football.

I was able to sit with Culver-Stockton College Athletic Director Pat Atwell and ask him about what it’s like to new and healthy competition to the Heart of America.

Athletic Director Pat Atwell (Photo Courtesy of C-SC Wildcats)

“Oh I think it’s great news for us. Two schools that geographically fit our needs. You know the southern school in the conference really like adding schools that are a close drive for us. We play Missouri Baptist and William Woods in a lot of sports already. I was able to go on both visits, to see both campuses, as part of Heart of America team and we’re very impressed. I think they’re perfect additions to our league.”

Of course with these additions we could expect some rule changes to come with it. Although this could hurt some of the schools. As some of the Iowa and Kansas schools will now have to travel a little further. This could mean extended schedules which results in more travel expenses. However the inclusion of Divisions could help fix that.

What This does to the American Midwest Conference

This does also hurt the American Midwest as they lose 2 of their top schools. But back in November they announced the inclusion of Mission University (formerly Baptist Bible College) and Crowley Ridge College in 2024-25. The addition of these two schools will set the numbers back to what it is once MBU and WWU leave.

The Mission University Patriots, will be moving from the National Christian College Athletic Association to the NAIA. Meanwhile Crowley Ridge Pioneers, will move from the Continental Athletic Conference. The CAC is a group of NAIA colleges that are not affiliated with a set conference. Iowa-Wesleyan was once a CAC member before their closing. So while they’ll be missing two schools, those are two spots waiting to be claimed by the many schools in the conference.

Final Thoughts

I feel this is a great move by the Heart of America as it will strengthen the conference and make more student athletes join these schools to prove they’re the best. The NAIA is not seen as an equal but there is talent. Student athletes across the country come here to extend their time as an athlete and to show off their skills. While also gaining extra education from a smaller school that has the teaching capabilities as any other school.

SPorts Director

Remington Yates

“Remington Yates, a dedicated sports enthusiast and native of the Canton-Monticello area, serves as The Lewis County Scoop’s Sports Director. Graduating from Highland and Culver-Stockton College, he brings a blend of local insights and professional expertise to the people of Lewis County.

See Bio Here