Prep football photo: Eight-player teams Madison Abundant Life, Wisconsin Heights do battle

Madison Abundant Life/St. Ambrose's Justin Schmiesing (20) is tackled by Wisconsin Heights' Tyler Flamme (2), right, after catching a pass in the second quarter of a Great Eight South football game at Madison Abundant Life Christian in Madison on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016.

The WIAA Board of Control gave initial approval to a conference realignment plan for eight-player football that would place the area’s two eight-player programs in the same six-team conference as part of the South Region.

Wisconsin Heights and the Madison Abundant Life would be placed in Conference B of the South Region under the plan. The conference also would include Elkhart Lake/Glenbeulah, Oakfield, Williams Bay and Neenah St. Mary/Oshkosh Valley Christian.

The plan, if granted final approval on Aug. 19, would go into effect for the 2020 season.

Conference A would include La Farge, Weston, Belmont, Wonewoc-Center, North Crawford and Kickapoo. There also would be a Northeast Region, a Central Region and a Northwest Region, each consisting of two six-team conferences.

Each conference would pair with the other conference in its region to provide crossover games.

Of course, the number of conferences, or the number of teams in each conference, would have to grow as more schools switch to eight-player football — a trend that is expected to increase in coming years.

The WIAA sponsored its first official eight-player state championship series last fall, with Sevastopol beating Luck in the final, 38-30, to top an eight-team playoff field.

Other conference alignments proposed under the new plan:

Northeast Region, Conference A: Florence, Suring, Elcho/White Lake, Three Lakes, Wausaukee and Wabeno/Laona.

Northeast Region, Conference B: Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas, Gillett, Gibraltar, Sevastopol, Algoma, Green Bay NEW Lutheran co-op.

Central Region, Conference A: New Auburn, Gilman, Alma Center Lincoln, Bruce, Chippewa Falls McDonell, Phillips.

Central Region, Conference B: Port Edwards, Wausau Newman, Greenwood, Plainfield Tri-County, Bowler/Gresham, Marion/Tigerton.

Northwest Region, Conference A: Mellen, Mercer/Butternut, Birchwood/Winter, Minong Northwood/Solon Springs, Chequamegon, Washburn/Bayfield.

Northwest Region, Conference B: Prairie Farm, Frederic, Clayton, Luck, Siren, Shell Lake.