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American Rivers Conference releases schedules for fall, winter sports

November 18, 2020 10:06am

The American Rivers Conference (A-R-C) today released winter activities schedules and the schedules for fall sports that were moved to the spring. The A-R-C Presidents Council received recommendations from coaches and directors of athletics among nine member institutions, including Buena Vista University, before adopting the new schedules.

Last August, fall contact sports of men’s and women’s soccer, football, and volleyball were postponed until spring as COVID-19 continued to impact communities and campuses across the country. In September, it was determined the start of the winter sports season would be delayed from November to January.

The safety of student-athletes remains the primary focus of the A-R-C. The public release of schedules at this time will assist student-athletes, families, coaches, and campuses in planning requirements. The Presidents Council and conference leadership will continue to monitor state and local guidance on matters related to COVID-19, including guidelines on spectator attendance at intercollegiate athletic events. Decisions related to all athletics schedules will be subject to the realities of the pandemic as winter and spring seasons approach.

“We’re doing everything we can, both at Buena Vista University and in the American Rivers Conference, to help ensure the safety of our student-athletes, our universities, and their communities,” says BVU Director of Athletics Jack Denholm. “We’re proceeding with cautious optimism toward the resumption of competition in January, realizing we may have to make subsequent changes in the course of the pandemic.”

Leaders across the A-R-C, according to Denholm, continue to work with coaches, faculty, staff, and students-athletes in carefully moving ahead in this unprecedented time.

“We want to play collegiate sports and do what we can to provide our student-athletes the best experience possible as they represent themselves, their peers, and, in our case, BVU in the activities they’re so passionate about,” Denholm says. “We’re always balancing that desire with our primary goal, which centers on the health and safety of those student-athletes and everyone within the BVU community.”

Winter schedules were announced by the A-R-C for women’s and men’s basketball, women’s and men’s track and field, and wrestling. The fall-to-spring sports schedules of football, women’s and men’s soccer, and volleyball were also adopted. 

The basketball schedule is slated to start Jan. 23 with a round-robin of eight conference games. Due to the limited schedule, the Presidents Council approved nine-team conference tournaments the week of March 1. The one-year exception expands the tournaments from their usual number of six teams. The BVU women’s basketball team opens its season at Loras College on Jan. 23, while the BVU men’s basketball team hosts Loras on that date.

Like cross country during the fall, the A-R-C intends to conduct four indoor track and field triangular meets that lead into the conference championships March 5-6 at Wartburg College. The Beavers teams in men’s and women’s track and field open their season on Feb. 6, hosting Nebraska-Wesleyan and Luther in the Lamberti Recreation Center.

Similarly, the conference intends to conduct a series of four wrestling triangular meets, creating a round-robin schedule to help determine the league champion. Coach Mark Rial’s wrestlers open the season in facing Nebraska-Wesleyan and Simpson at Nebraska-Wesleyan on Jan. 23.

As of today, the NCAA plans to conduct winter championships, but those events are not guaranteed. NCAA Division III canceled fall championships on August 5.

League volleyball teams take the court with opening matches scheduled for February 20. A full round-robin is planned, and there will not be a conference tournament, as the league champion will be determined via the round-robin slate of matches. The Beavers begin the season hosting Luther College in Siebens Fieldhouse.

Women’s and men’s soccer have round-robins planned, starting on March 27. Again, there will be no conference tournament, as a league champ will emerge from the round-robin. The Beavers entertain Wartburg in the league opener on Peterson Field.

A-R-C football has each school scheduled for three games. Due to how the schedule is structured, the University of Dubuque is scheduled for a fourth game, versus Coe College. BVU’s football team starts this abbreviated season on March 27 by hosting Simpson College at J. Leslie Rollins Stadium.

Complete schedules for fall and winter athletic activities can be found at In all sports, A-R-C member schools are permitted to schedule non-conference contests as long as the opponent complies with COVID-19 protocols that are equal to those required by the conference.