There will be no year in limbo for Hanover Central.
The school, which had been dropped by the Porter County Conference, was voted into the Greater South Shore Conference on Wednesday for all sports other than football, effective beginning for the 2013-14 school year rather than 2014-15.
"It just wasn't fair to Hanover Central," Whiting athletic director Paul Laub said. "They were left in really dire straits as far as scheduling for next year. We're just pushing things up a little quicker and now they don't have to deal with that."
In the spring, Hanover was admitted to the GSSC for the fall of 2014. The PCC subsequently voted to drop the school, leaving Hanover as an independent for the 2013-14 school year.
"We're excited," Hanover A.D. Jeff Brooks said. "It was a nice surprise. We know all of our coaches and administrators are grateful to the GSSC for doing this for us. There's a lot of work to do still, but it's going to be great for all of our kids and programs."
Brooks specifically noted Hanover's accomplished wrestling team, which has never competed with a conference affiliation because the PCC didn't have the sport.
"That's going to be great for them, to wrestle in a conference meet," Brooks said. "Our girls tennis team had more kids out than any other sport in the spring and there was no conference for them."
The conference will move forward with the logistics of adding Hanover to the GSSC schedule for 2013-14. The Wildcats already play some of the schools in many sports.
"We're headed in a positive direction," Laub said. "We're adding a quality school, a quality athletic program with quality teams and quality facilities. We're trying to be the best conference in the state. That's our goal."
In addition, the GSSC has voted to retain South Central in football and add Boone Grove when Hanover moves to the varsity level, currently slated for the fall of 2015. Previously, South Central was going to be bumped from the conference when Hanover joined.
The GSSC will become a 10-school conference for football split into five-team north and south divisions. Bishop Noll, Calumet, Lake Station, River Forest and Whiting will comprise the north, while Boone, Hanover, North Newton, South Central and Wheeler will make up the south. Teams would play the four schools in their divisions and three crossover games, leaving the opening two weeks of the season for non-conference games.
"We're elated to bring in Hanover Central in all sports," Wheeler A.D. Randy Stelter said. "We're excited for Boone Grove and to be able to have South Central stay in the GSSC. This only solidifies our conference even more."