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April 22, 2014

Western Indiana Conference to expand to 12 schools

TERRE HAUTE — The long-rumored merger between the Western Indiana Conference and the five remaining high schools in the West Central Conference has become reality.

Late last week, the seven WIC principals and five WCC principals voted 12-0 to approve the new alignment.

“We now have 12 schools in the WIC,” proclaimed outgoing Sullivan principal David Springer, who’s serving as WIC president for the 2013-14 school year.

Actually, the new alignment won’t start taking effect until the fall.

“We’re hoping to start [updated conference] schedules next year [2014-15] and then fully implement them in 2015-16,” Springer explained.

“I think it’s very positive to add five more teams and create a 12-team conference. It creates more stability for the seven schools that were in there before and it will reduce travel time. At least we hope it will.”

Springer said the new WIC will be split into two divisions for team sports. The East will consist of Owen Valley, Edgewood, Brown County, Cloverdale, North Putnam and Cascade, while the West will have West Vigo, Northview, South Vermillion, Sullivan, South Putnam and Greencastle.

Also, Springer mentioned, attempts will be made to leave schedules open at the end of the season so that first-place teams in each division play each other, second-place teams play each other, etc…

For individual sports, more one-day conference championship tournaments or meets will take place so that all WIC schools will get a chance to face each other. Those sports include golf, cross country, wrestling, swimming and track and field.

Springer said there will be a meeting of WIC/WCC principals and athletic directors June 11.

Because of the rotating nature of the WIC presidency, West Vigo’s Thomas Balitewicz will be in charge of the conference for the 2014-15 school year.

For those unfamiliar with the West Central Conference, it formed in 1970 and eventually reached 10 members, mostly from Putnam, Morgan and Hendricks counties.

Charter WCC member South Putnam captured state championships in Class A football (1986) and Class 2A softball (2011 and 2012).

But the WCC lost members over the years, including Edgewood and Owen Valley to the Western Indiana Conference in 1999, and it’s operated during the 2013-14 seasons with six schools.

One of those six, Monrovia, previously announced it will be exiting to join the Indiana Crossroads Conference for the start of the 2014-15 school year.

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