FORT WAYNE – After adding Jay County, it appears the Allen County Athletic Conference might be without another member – or two – in the future.
NECC incoming president Mark Hofer, athletic director at Fairfield, released a statement Thursday that Garrett was invited to rejoin the North East Corner Conference.
The North East Corner Conference Principals and Athletic Directors met Wednesday morning to act upon a request from Garrett High School for membership in the NECC, the statement said. Having received the required affirmative votes outlined in its by-laws, the NECC extended an invitation to Garrett for membership in the conference pending approval by the Garrett Board of Education later this month. Garrett will be meeting soon with their current conference, the Allen County Conference (ACAC), to discuss the logistics of their leaving that conference to join the NECC.
Garrett was a member of the NECC for several years before joining the ACAC in 2005. The Garrett-Keyser-Butler Community School Board will meet May 20 with rejoining the NECC on the agenda.
First-year Garrett athletic director Chris DePew said Garrett could be the NECCs 12th member by either the 2014-15 or 2015-16 school year. The NECC is currently made up of Angola, Central Noble, Churubusco, Eastside, Fairfield, Fremont, Hamilton, Lakeland, Prairie Heights, West Noble and Westview.
We really like (the ACAC), but when it really comes down to it geography is the key point in this whole move, travel distance and drive time for our teams and fans, DePew said. It is a more of a natural fit (in the NECC).
Four ACAC schools – Adams Central, Bluffton, South Adams and Southern Wells – are south of Allen County while Garrett is the lone school north of the county. There are three ACAC schools in Allen County – Heritage, Leo and Woodlan.
Last month, Jay County was approved by its school board to join the ACAC in two years. Jay County is even farther south than Southern Wells and South Adams, the farthest trips for Garrett.
Once we gain one, then we lose one, Bluffton athletic director Steve Thompson said. Its funny how things change in about a month.
The question still remains how many teams the ACAC will have in a couple of years. Jay County will be in, and Garrett will be out. The status of Southern Wells, which currently does not compete for the conference football championship, is still in question with a vote by the ACACs athletic directors on the Raiders status scheduled for today.
It would take six ADs to vote for a change in the by-laws and thus Southern Wells departing the conference for all sports if the Raiders are unwilling to start playing all the conference teams in football.
It will be whether they continue on probationary status or they are asked to leave the conference, Thompson said of the vote.