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As first reported last week in The Leader-Union, the South Central Conference will realign for the 2012-13 season.
On Wednesday afternoon, the principals of the 10 SCC schools met in Litchfield. Litchfield High School Principal Mark Hunt made a motion to remove Roxana, Alton-Marquette and East Alton-Wood River from the conference and add Nokomis, Staunton and Gillespie. Vandalia Principal Randy Protz seconded the motion and the 10 districts voted 7-3 to pass the motion. The dissenting votes were cast by Roxana, Alton-Marquette and EAWR.
Vandalia Superintendent Rich Well said that the change made sense from a financial point of view. The state has been late on payments to the district and transportation costs are increasing.
Other schools in the conference had similar thoughts as they already have to drive near Nokomis, Staunton or Gillespie to reach the three schools that are departing.
The three new schools have until Dec. 31 2010, to find any other school or schools whose inclusion would help the rest of the conference. Any more additions would make the conference larger than 10 schools, but it is “not out of the realm of possibility,” Well said. The SCC has been as large as 14 teams in the past.
In division play, Vandalia’s division will now include Greenville, Hillsboro, Pana and Nokomis.
The three schools leaving are in close proximity to each other farther west, in Madison County. EAWR and Roxana are also the two largest schools in the SCC, with enrollments over 620.
The three schools that will come in are all northwest of Vandalia and are currently in the Prairie State Conference.
Nokomis is about 35 miles northwest of Vandalia, with an enrollment of about 250.
Gillespie is no stranger to the SCC, having been a member until 2008. The Miners have an enrollment of 380. Gillespie is located just west of Litchfield.
Staunton is largest of the three additions, with 415 students. Staunton is located along I-55, south of Mt. Olive. It was also a member of the SCC until 2008.
The realignment brings the conference closer together geographically, with Piasa, Pana and Vandalia still being the outer corners. Hillsboro will now be the largest school, with 605 enrolled. Vandalia will be the third-largest, with 535. The three new schools will be the smallest.