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High Schools

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ACAC awaiting Jay County

– The status of Jay County as a possible ACAC member could be known April 22, while Southern Wells’ tenuous standing in the league might be answered a few weeks after that.

The Patriots’ athletic teams, which are currently independent, were invited to join the ACAC on March 21, with no immediate decision given by the school. The Jay School Corp. board meeting April 22 might be when the choice is made by the Portland school between the ACAC and the North Central Conference, which has also invited Jay County to join.

“They fit our mold of a community-based school, and they have 2A and 3A athletes like most of us, and they are relatively close to some of us,” Bluffton athletic director Steve Thompson said of Jay County. “The one thing we know for sure is there is a lot of talk in northern Indiana of conference realignment changes. There is no indication that any school is leaving the (ACAC), but we all know in the back of our minds that we want to prepare in case something does.”

Thompson said Jay County could be a full member of the conference by the 2014-15 school year.

“I understand there are a lot of people in their community who are very much wanting to go into the NCC,” Thompson said. “They have been involved with the NCC, and we just wanted to extend an offer so not only can they have choices, and we can have choices.”

Southern Wells, the smallest ACAC school, does not compete for an ACAC football title because many of the bigger league schools aren’t on its schedule. To be a full member of the ACAC, Southern Wells must compete in the league in all sports. If Southern Wells decides not to play football, six votes would be needed to change the ACAC bylaws and oust Southern Wells.

The subject will be discussed at the May 1 ACAC athletic directors’ meeting.

“I can’t say if they decide they are going to not play football, I don’t know how everyone will vote,” Thompson said. “I don’t know if we still have the number, but I do know that is looming.”

gjones@jg.net

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