Northwestern Conference (IHSAA)

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A three-member IHSAA-sanctioned athletic conference involving schools from Gary, Indiana.

History[edit]

The conference was formed in 1963, after the West Division of the Northern Indiana Conference split. At this time, the conference encompassed most of the schools in Gary (except for Edison, Roosevelt, and Wirt; Edison would close in 1968, the other two would join later), Hammond (except for Gavit and Morton, who would join in 1966), and East Chicago schools, as well as the schools from Valparaiso and Whiting.

The conference expanded to 16 schools in 1966, adding Hobart High School, as well as Gary Roosevelt, Hammond Gavit and Hammond Morton. The expansion moved the conference into divisions: the East Division consisted of the Gary schools, Hobart, and Valparaiso, the West Division consisting of the East Chicago, Hammond, and Whiting schools.

The conference changed its name to the Gary City Series in 1968, as Hobart and Valparaiso became independent, with the rest of the non-Gary schools formed the Indiana Lake Shore Conference. These schools would be replaced by parochial school Andrean, and the new Gary West Side. The next year, Gary Froebel and Tolleston closed, and the conference reverted to the Northwestern Conference moniker. Wirt would join in 1970 from the old Calumet Conference, and Andrean left to be independent in 1975.

The conference membership has decreased over the years as schools closed (Emerson in 1981, Mann in 2004, and Wirt in 2009), leaving the current number of schools at three.

Current members[edit]

School City Mascot Colors County Enrollment IHSAA Class Year joined Previous conference
Gary Roosevelt Gary Panthers           45
Lake
890 4A football, 3A basketball 1966 Independents
Gary Wallace Gary Hornets           45
Lake
931 3A football, 3A basketball 1963 Northern Indiana
Gary West Side Gary Cougars           45
Lake
1,326 4A football, 4A basketball 1968 none (new school)

Former members[edit]

School City Mascot Colors County Year joined Previous Conference Year Left Conference Joined
East Chicago Roosevelt East Chicago Roughriders           45
Lake
1963 Northern Indiana 1968 Indiana Lake Shore
East Chicago Washington East Chicago Senators           45
Lake
1963 Northern Indiana 1968 Indiana Lake Shore
Gary Emerson Gary Tornado           45
Lake
1963 Northern Indiana 1981 none (school closed,
reopened as Emerson VPA)
Gary Froebel Gary Blue Devils           45
Lake
1963 Northern Indiana 1969 none (school became MS,
closed 1977)
Gary Mann Gary Horsemen           45
Lake
1963 Northern Indiana 2004 none (school closed)
Gary Tolleston Gary Blue Raiders           45
Lake
1963 Northern Indiana 1969 none (school became MS,
closed 2007)
Hammond Hammond Wildcats           45
Lake
1963 Northern Indiana 1968 Indiana Lake Shore
Hammond Clark Hammond Pioneers           45
Lake
1963 Northern Indiana 1968 Indiana Lake Shore
Hammond Tech Hammond Tigers           45
Lake
1963 Northern Indiana 1968 Indiana Lake Shore
Valparaiso Valparaiso Vikings           64
Porter
1963 Northern Indiana 1968 Independents
Whiting Whiting Oilers           45
Lake
1963 Northern Indiana 1968 Indiana Lake Shore
Hammond Gavit Hammond Gladiators           45
Lake
1966 Independents 1968 Indiana Lake Shore
Hammond Morton Hammond Governors           45
Lake
1966 Independents 1968 Indiana Lake Shore
Hobart Hobart Brickies           45
Lake
1966 Independents 1968 Independents
Andrean Gary 59ers           45
Lake
1968 Independents 1975 Independents (school moved
to Merrillville)
Gary Wirt Gary Troopers           45
Lake
1970 Calumet 2009 school closed

Membership timeline[edit]

William A. Wirt High School West Side High School (Gary) Andrean High School Hobart High School Oliver P. Morton Memorial High School Donald E Gavit Jr./Sr. High School Theodore Roosevelt High School (Gary) Whiting High School Valparaiso High School Hammond Technical High School Clark Middle/High School Hammond High School (Indiana) Lew Wallace High School Tolleston Middle School Horace Mann High School (Gary, Indiana) Froebel High School Emerson School for Visual and Performing Arts Central High School (East Chicago, Indiana) Central High School (East Chicago, Indiana)

Resources[edit]