STEVE HANLON: Somewhere south of Morocco, Indiana

2013-10-03T18:00:00Z 2013-10-04T02:19:10Z STEVE HANLON: Somewhere south of Morocco, IndianaSteve Hanlon Prep Beat nwitimes.com
October 03, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

We're about to head into our sixth year of "Hope and Change." Here's hoping we all have more than just change in our seven-year-old ripped Wranglers in the near future.

But that is doubtful and I digress.

Much change was announced last week when nine schools -- Caston, Culver, Knox, LaVille, North Judson, Pioneer, Triton, West Central and Winamac -- will form the Hoosier North Athletic Conference beginning in 2015-16.

High school conferences are like small Asian countries in the 1960s, they fall like dominoes. So what is next?

Four small schools got left out of the new league, Frontier, South Newton, Tri-County and North White. These Midwest Conference schools are searching.

Here's a stack of change that this new league which will come, guaranteed, will ask North Newton if the Spartans are interested in changing affiliation.

The original member of the Greater South Shore Conference would be a perfect fit for whatever is going to come.

North Newton athletic director Tim Feddeler was clear Tuesday night about one thing, but also played both sides of the fence.

"We're very happy in the GSSC, very happy," he said. "We're not looking to leave. But we're hearing the same things you are. There is no news right now."

Feddeler said his school has heard nothing from the four left-out schools and North Newton has not been involved in any meetings or invitations.

But that doesn't mean it isn't going to come.

The GSSC began in 2007-08. It's been a very good small-school conference. But with the addition of Hanover Central this school year there are now nine schools in the league.

That's one too many if modern math holds true.

Beyond a gas bill bigger than that of Air Force One, the other reason North Newton should look for a more geographical association is the Spartans are struggling big time in the money sports, football and boys basketball.

The football team has won 19 GSSC games since 2007. That's two-and-a half a season. The Spartans are 0-fer so far this fall.

In boys hoops, the school has won six GSSC games since 2007.

And now they get to drive almost two hours to get pounded by Marquette Catholic.

"It's every bit of 1:45 and then some," Feddeler said of how long it takes his teams to drive to Michigan City. The "and then some" is the key phrase in that quote.

It's time to brew the coffee and plan the meetings. This makes too much sense to overlook.

And when it happens, which I believe it will, the GSSC can drop the "G" from its name. The South Shore Conference will work just fine.

Big Luv to Jay Novak and the boys: With the loss of Diane Jennings last week after a 17-month fight against cancer, one of the region's great sports families took a hit. Whiting assistant football coach Brett Jennings and Griffith baseball coach Brian Jennings lost a great lady.

But Clark football coach Jay Novak did a great thing by dressing up his Pioneers and taking them to Diane's services to show support. This is another example of how the scoreboard does not always tell who the winners are.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at steve.hanlon@nwi.com.

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