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Changes could be coming for schools

– It’s almost been an annual event, the talk of how and when the changes of the athletic conferences in northeast Indiana will occur.

But this time, the talk could turn to action.

Multiple sources confirmed a meeting was held Wednesday morning at Leo to discuss a reconfiguration of the NHC.

The discussed changes could have the two biggest NHC schools, Carroll and Homestead, leaving the conference and Leo and Angola moving in.

Representatives from the six other NHC schools – Bellmont, Columbia City, DeKalb, East Noble, New Haven and Norwell – were at the meeting along with Leo and Angola. According to the sources, the meeting was only for dialogue purposes.

The attendees were given a chance to go back to their schools to consider all that was discussed before getting back together in the future to reshape the NHC or possibly make a new conference.

Something more concrete could happen next month.

There’s been talk of conference realignment for years.

Concordia, which was not represented at the meeting, has expressed a desire to leave the SAC because of being less competitive with the other schools in football, especially with the recent closing of Elmhurst and Harding.

Concordia played host a few years ago to a forum of athletic directors discussing this same topic.

Sources have indicated, though, this time change appears inevitable.

The trickle-down effect to high schools from college athletics is changing, sometimes dramatically. And there are schools such as Carroll, Homestead, Leo and Angola that have simply outgrown their conferences.

And because of the growth of Homestead and Carroll, and subsequent success in almost every sport, the two schools have been the target of the most speculation of leaving the NHC or more specifically being asked to leave.

If it does happen, it could cause a domino effect for other conferences in northeast Indiana.

The ACAC and NECC would be directly affected because two schools would have left, and the SAC is often mentioned as a possible designation for Carroll and Homestead.

Homestead athletic director Joe Updegrove has heard the rumors before and until something officially happens, the Spartans “are still in the NHC,” according to him.

He said if anything does happen, Homestead and Carroll have several options but wasn’t specific.

Updegrove did say the NHC by-laws state the outgoing schools would have a two-year period before leaving the conference.

Greg Jones is the High School Sports Editor for The Journal Gazette and has been covering sports in the Fort Wayne area since 1998. He can be reached by email gjones@jg.net; phone, 461-8224; or fax 461-8648.

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