AKRON – Make it two area schools who have said no to an invitation to join the Northern State Conference.
Tippecanoe Valley High School made it official today that they will remain in the Three Rivers Conference.
Valley officials confirmed just last week that the NSC had invited the Vikings to join the league.
The NSC will be down to just four schools at the end of the 2014-15 school year after the announcement in August that Triton, Knox, LaVille and Culver will be leaving. Those four schools will join with North Judson, Pioneer, Winamac and Caston for form a new conference.
The quick decision by Valley administrators came after Wawasee High School said no thanks to the NSC on Sept. 16.
“The decision was based in large part on the instability in the NSC right now,” said Valley athletic director Duane Burkhart in a phone interview this morning. “The NSC is just a big question mark right now. There was also concerns for us about increased travel time for our teams, especially to mid-week contests.
“We were never unhappy with the TRC. We just needed to take a look at this. We felt the best decision for Valley is to stay in the TRC.”
The NSC will include just Jimtown, New Prairie, Bremen and John Glenn after the mass exodus. The league, which was formed in 1966, has also offered invitations to Rochester, Mishawaka Marian and Culver Academies to join. Rochester is a member of the TRC, while Marian belongs to the Northern Indiana Conference and the Academies is an independent.
A decision by Rochester, the top rival in the TRC for the Vikings, is still pending.
“There are a lot of good rivalries in the TRC,” noted Burkhart, who has served as the AD for two decades after coaching at Valley. “Each school in our conference has sports that they excel in. We have not dominated the TRC as far as from an all-sports standpoint over the years.”
Valley, with its’ enrollment of just over 600 students, is currently the largest school in the TRC.
Burkhart noted that the next step in the process for Valley would have been for their to be formal discussions with head coaches of the school’s sports. But, it never reached that point.
“This is the best thing for us right now,” concluded Burkhart.