Add another school to the North Central Conference.
The NCC announced Wednesday that Indianapolis Arsenal Tech would join the conference, becoming a member April 1, 2015.
Tech will replace Huntington North, which will leave the NCC for a new conference after the 2014-15 school year. Tech’s addition will bring the NCC number to an even 10 for the 2015-16 sports season.
The NCC currently features Richmond, Anderson, Huntington North, Kokomo, Logansport, Marion and Muncie Central. Lafayette Jeff, Harrison and McCutcheon become members starting with 2014-15.
“I’m thrilled,” said RHS athletic director Chad Bolser. “I think this is a huge step for us as a conference, and we think it’s going to be a great addition to our league.”
Tech was a charter member of the NCC when it was formed in 1926, before leaving in 1960. Lafayette Jeff also was a former member that will rejoin the NCC after leaving the conference in 2003.
New Castle opted in June to leave the NCC in favor of the Hoosier Heritage Conference. Huntington will form a new conference with Norwell, Bellmont, Columbia City, DeKalb, East Noble, New Haven and Leo for 2015-16.
“We know it’s been a time of transition,” Bolser said. “It’s a time of transition for a lot of schools. I think the strength of the North Central Conference is evident by the desire of schools to join the conference, schools that have left and come back. It confirms to me that it’s a wonderful conference with a fantastic tradition. It’s going to continually be a leader in the state of Indiana.”
A release sent by the NCC on Wednesday states that the “addition of Arsenal Technical High School into the NCC will now allow the Conference to continue to plan for divisional play and conference tournaments in nearly all sports. The goal of the NCC remains the same; bigger, better, stronger and more exciting than ever.”
The release also said “the NCC will continue to seek other schools for future membership into the Conference as well as remain focused on what is best for the student athletes, coaches, schools and communities of the 10 member schools in the NCC.”
Richmond, Anderson, Muncie Central, Marion and Huntington North will comprise the East Division for the NCC in 2014-15, and Lafayette Jeff, McCutcheon, Harrison, Kokomo and Logansport the West.
Tech, which won a Class 4A state championship in boys basketball last month, will replace Huntington in the East.
“We felt like divisional play addressed some of the concerns our conference has in this day and age,” Bolser said. “We have addressed a lot of those concerns with the divisional play, but I think we’ve also increased the competitive nature of the league. Harrison, Jeff and McCutcheon are fantastic additions, and Indy Tech again is a wonderful addition.
“It’s a great addition and I think, long term, it really makes for a healthy league.”