Representatives from Indianapolis Tech and Guerin Catholic met Thursday with administrators from the North Central Conference about joining the league.
Tech athletic director Victor Bush and Guerin Catholic athletic director Chris Buhler both confirmed that the schools made presentations on Thursday in Indianapolis. It is believed that the NCC is targeting just those two independent schools, but will pick only one of the two.
“I believe (the North Central Conference) would be a great fit for Arsenal Tech,” Bush said. “The NCC has great tradition and competitive spirit. It would give our kids an opportunity to compete against some of the best programs in the state.”
Tech was an original member of the North Central Conference when it formed in 1926, but left in 1960 to join the other Indianapolis Public Schools. The NCC dominated in several sports, most notably boys basketball, for many years in its heyday. Programs such as Anderson, Marion and Muncie Central won multiple state championships and New Castle, Kokomo, Lafayette Jeff and Richmond were also state powers, playing before huge crowds in some of the largest high school gyms in the country.
Population shifts and industrial decline in many of these communities have diminished the NCC’s strength. New Castle, one of the founding members, will join the Hoosier Heritage Conference at the end of year and Huntington North, which joined in 2003, will leave for a new conference at the end of the 2014-15 year.
Lafayette Jeff, which left the league in 2003, will rejoin next year, along with West Lafayette Harrison and McCutcheon from the Hoosier Crossroads Conference. Those three, along with Anderson, Kokomo, Logansport, Marion, Muncie Central and Richmond comprise the nine-school league moving forward, leaving an opening for Tech or Guerin Catholic to join after Huntington North’s departure.
Guerin’s Buhler declined to answer further questions, other to confirm Thursday’s meeting. Bush said he came away hopeful after the 90-minute meeting and said an on-campus meeting with NCC leaders will likely come next.
Bush said he believes a decision could come soon, perhaps next month.
“I think the interview went really well,” he said. “I think they learned a lot about Arsenal Tech and have a well-detailed picture of what we’re all about.”
Tech competes in Class 6A in football and 4A in basketball, the largest classes in those sports. Guerin Catholic, located in Noblesville, is a 3A program in both football and basketball.