RECORDS & AWARDS
HEY RHS FANS: SEE WHAT NEW CASTLE HAD TO SAY?
August 21, 2013Richmond High School
The following article appeared recently in the New Castle Courier Times about the Trojans leaving the NCC and who they are blaming for the bad feelings...Richmond and Muncie Central:
NCC CIVIL WAR: Some conference schools want to oust New Castle now Richmond, Muncie threaten not to play Trojans this year
New Castle fans who have already picked up their athletic schedule cards for the 2013-14 school year may soon find that they are inaccurate. There could be gaping holes in every sport, except perhaps football, as some of the Trojans' oldest opponents - those of the North Central Conference - are attempting to eradicate all traces of Green and White. Divorce proceedings between New Castle High School and the NCC have taken an ugly turn, leaving school administrators working desperately to patch things up for the sake of NCHS student-athletes.
"I'm at a loss to understand this," New Castle Supt. Steve Fisher said. "We didn't know until late last week that this was in the works. We have consistently tried to be open and above-board with the NCC about our plans. This comes as a surprise." Muncie Central and Richmond are the instigators of the movement, according to Fisher.
Administrators of those two high schools have said that their teams will not play New Castle in any sport except football this current school year, which is already under way. But NCHS Principal Chris Walker believes that the other five NCC schools -- Anderson, Huntington, Kokomo, Logansport and Marion -- will honor their contracts with New Castle.
"As far as I've been told, those other five schools are still willing to play us," Walker said. New Castle has been a member of the NCC since 1926. But relations began to deteriorate last winter when the conference voted to admit three new members: Lafayette Jefferson, Harrison and McCutcheon, all of Tippecanoe County. New Castle cast the lone dissenting vote in the expansion because of travel issues.
Each of the new members is 100 miles away from NCHS. On June 10, the New Castle School Board voted 3-1 to terminate New Castle's membership in the NCC following the 2013-14 school year. The school will enter the Hoosier Heritage Conference in 2014-15. "We notified the NCC immediately after that June 10 meeting," Fisher emphasized. "We wanted to be completely honest." The superintendent said that the NCC attempted to impose a "fine" on New Castle of $2,000 per school for cancellation of games in the 2014-15 school year.
NCHS would have to pay that amount to each of the seven schools in order to compete in this school year. "I told them that we could not afford to pay that," Fisher said. The superintendent is trying to keep relations peaceful with both Richmond and Muncie Central." "I'm willing to have lunch with the superintendents of those two schools," Fisher said. "We're going to do things the right way. We need to get this worked out in a professional manner." Walker said that NCHS Athletic Director Brandon Ecker is negotiating with other schools to fill the schedule spots that may be created by departure of the NCC schools. "Brandon has really been working hard on this," Walker said. "If some of those schools are serious about not playing New Castle this year, we'll find replacements for them on the schedules."
Huntington has also announced it will leave the NCC, but not until after the 2014-15 school year. Because of that, the conference is not taking any punitive action against Huntington as it is toward New Castle. Soon after New Castle's decision to leave the NCC was made, the conference announced that neither Huntington nor New Castle would be eligible for championships this year. Also, the athletes of the two departing schools cannot be named to the all-conference team of any sport.
"If one of our teams wins a conference championship this year, and the NCC doesn't want to give it a trophy, so be it," Fisher said. "We'll honor those teams in our own way - the New Castle way. We'll see that the players get their patches, recognizing them as NCC champions" New Castle won the NCC in four sports last school year.
The Trojans were first in volleyball, baseball and boys golf, and shared the boys soccer title with Richmond. "Vengeance is not part of our plan," Walker said. "We have no animosity toward any of the NCC schools. We intend to withdraw from the conference in an orderly and peaceful manner. As always, the interest of our students come first."