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High Schools

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Carroll, Homestead joining SAC

For football, basketball beginning in fall of 2015

– Carroll and Homestead accepted offers Friday to join the SAC for football and boys and girls basketball, beginning in the fall of 2015.

“It seems like it has taken a long time to get to this point,” Carroll athletic director Dan Ginder said. “It was basically because we wanted to make sure we crossed every ‘T’ and dotted every ‘I’ as far as what was best for Carroll High School, our kids and our community. That was first and foremost of making the decision of where we fit best.”

Ginder said the move made sense because of the proximity to the other SAC members for Carroll and Homestead and would also fill a scheduling void, especially in football.

“We explored independence (without a conference), but we didn’t think it would be a good fit for us,” Ginder said.

Homestead and Carroll have been in the market for a new conference since the 24-year-old NHC disbanded earlier this year.

Since then, six members of the NHC – Bellmont, Columbia City, DeKalb, East Noble, New Haven and Norwell – decided to form a new league in 2015 with Leo and Huntington North.

“It is great for Allen County as a whole,” Homestead athletic director Joe Updegrove said of joining the SAC on a limited basis. “Weighing all the pros and cons, this is a great opportunity for Allen County athletics. The competition is there, and we will all make each other better. It definitely beefs up our schedule.”

The SAC has eight members in all sports: Bishop Dwenger, Bishop Luers, Concordia, Northrop, North Side, Snider, South Side and Wayne.

“The SAC is recognized as a strong athletic conference and bringing in two more Allen County schools only makes us stronger,” South Side principal and SAC president Carlton Mable said in a statement.

The two schools were invited to join recently and were given until Friday to accept or decline the offer.

“It has been something that has been on all our minds,” Ginder said. “It’s a huge relief that we have an answer of where our future is going. It feels good to be out of that no-man’s land at this point.”

After a two-year probationary period, Carroll and Homestead could join the SAC in other sports.

“It wasn’t offered to us at this point,” Ginder said. “We did ask for that, and the SAC came back with those two sports as sort of a trial basis. In two years from now, those other sports maybe considered and looked at and added at that point if it is a good fit for everybody.”

Updegrove said there was never a concern with the SAC’s policy of splitting the revenue from football and basketball games.

“For some reason, everybody thought Carroll and Homestead had an issue with splitting the gates,” Updegrove said. “I don’t see that as an issue. Everybody sells their season passes, and you split the people who walk up. That was never a sticking point for us.”

gjones@jg.net

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