The nine schools of the newly formed Hoosier North Athletic Conference were introduced at a press conference Wednesday in Culver.
The HNAC is currently looking for a 10th school to add to current schools Caston, Culver, Knox, LaVille, North Judson, Pioneer, Triton and West Central and Winamac.
Pioneer athletic director and football coach Mike Johnson said the new conference is looking for a 10th school and hopes to have one by the middle of next month.
“Probably if we don’t get one by mid November we’ll go with nine at least with for a couple of years,” he said. “We’ve got to get our football schedules ready.”
The HNAC will begin competition in the 2015-16 school year.
The conference is considering going to division play in football but would need a 10th school to do so, Johnson said.
“If we don’t get 10 we’ll play eight conference games and one non-conference,” he said.
Johnson added he’s not sure how divisions would work but that they could rotate every three years or so to change things up.
As for a possible 10th school, Johnson said, “We have some prospects but nothing is sure at all. Nothing we want to say.”
The Pioneer administrator said the HNAC has a bylaw that it will be no bigger than a 10-school conference.
Caston, Pioneer and Winamac are breaking away from the Midwest Conference after longtime affiliations.
Johnson said the HNAC will provide the schools with better competition athletically.
“I think we went into it with no intent for a new conference,” he said. “We got a phone call from Culver saying they were interested in discussing a new conference. I thought for sure it’d be rejected by our conference but thought it wouldn’t hurt to talk but that no way would we leave. The more we talked we thought it might work out and it might be better. It has nothing to do with travel. The competition of the schools is really enticing. It’s better from top to bottom in all of our sports.”