Member high schools of Conference Indiana and the Circle City Conference have formed an alliance for football scheduling beginning in the fall of 2018, officials of both conferences announced Thursday (June 29).
Conference Indiana will be comprised of six schools for the 2018-19 academic year with its roster including Bloomington North, Bloomington South, Columbus North, Southport, Terre Haute North and Terre Haute South.
The Circle City Conference includes Bishop Chatard, Brebeuf Jesuit, Covenant Christian (Indianapolis), Guerin Catholic, Heritage Christian and Roncalli in its six-member league.
Key points in the alliance that was finalized in a meeting on Monday (June 26) are these:
>> Schools will schedule each other as time and space permit.
>> It will assist schools in filling their football schedules.
>> Contests will be played at all three levels (varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams).
>> It will prevent teams from having to go out of state for contests.
>> It will begin in the fall of 2018.
“Football scheduling is a source of concern for many athletic directors,” said Brian Mancuso, Terre Haute South athletic director and president of Conference Indiana for 2017-18. “This new alliance is a win for both conferences as it will provide a source of scheduling stability and possibly provide intriguing matchups. We look forward to developing and rekindling relationships with the Circle City Conference schools.”
Mike Ford, athletic director at Bishop Chatard and secretary of the Circle City Conference, described the alliance as an exciting opportunity for each school involved.
“This alliance certainly will help solidify scheduling football contests,” Ford said. “It also will forge a new public-private schools athletic alliance that is attractive for providing each of our schools with new competition and hopefully long-term rivalries.”
Conference Indiana was founded in the 1997-98 school year and started football play in the fall of 1998. CI was founded with 10 members, including Bloomington North, Bloomington South, Columbus North, Decatur Central, Franklin Central, Lawrence Central, Martinsville, Perry Meridian, Pike and Southport.
Decatur Central and Martinsville departed Conference Indiana in 2006-07 to join the Mid-State Conference.
Lawrence Central and Pike departed Conference Indiana in 2013-14 to join the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference. Terre Haute North and Terre Haute South, former MIC members, joined Conference Indiana the same school year in select sports, including football. Terre Haute North and Terre Haute South became full CI members in 2014-15.
Conference Indiana will feature eight schools for the coming school year, but Franklin Central and Perry Meridian will depart at the end of 2017-18. Franklin Central will join the Hoosier Crossroads Conference, and Perry Meridian will join the Mid-State Conference.
The Circle City Conference officially began in 2016-17 and enjoyed a strong inaugural year with Bishop Chatard, Brebeuf Jesuit, Guerin Catholic and Roncalli as the founding members. Heritage Christian is joining the league for 2017-18. Covenant Christian (Indianapolis) is joining the league for 2018-19.
“The hope for expansion always has been desired,” Ford said. “Although this new alliance initially is focused on football, it could open doors to other sports in the future.”