White River Conference (Indiana)

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The White River Conference (1989-2010) in Indiana. The last school from Delaware County left two years before the conference disbanded.

The White River Conference was an IHSAA-sanctioned conference located within rural areas of East Central Indiana, that existed twice, once from 1954 to 1977, and from 1989 to 2010. The first version of the conference was founded as a home for high schools in Madison County who weren't in the Central Indiana Athletic Conference.[1] The conference would expand quickly from six to nine schools, as two new high schools in Anderson and Middletown, a school in Henry County, were added within two years. Membership was generally not stable until 1969, as Madison Heights left, Highland was forced out and eventually added back into the conference, St. Mary's closed, member schools consolidated, and schools from neighboring Delaware and Hancock counties were added. Eventually, large disparities in enrollment causing the conference to disband, as city and consolidated schools outgrew their rural counterparts.. Schools would move into the Big Blue River Conference, Classic Athletic Conference, and Mid-Eastern Conference.

The conference was refounded in 1989, with virtually the same lineup as 1977. Pendleton Heights and Yorktown had been independent since the demise of the CAC, and Mount Vernon had been independent since the original WRC folded. Lapel and Shenandoah were left without a home with the break up of the BBRC, while Frankton and Wes-Del were eager to join a conference that sponsor football (they played independently since the MEC does not sponsor the sport). Anderson Highland was the only member who did not rejoin, as their move to the Olympic Conference caused the demise of the CAC. Delta, another former CAC school, would take their place in the reformed conference, and divisions in football were introduced to address enrollment disparity.

This lineup would remain intact until 1995, though a massive change would happen in the next three years as five schools left. Delta, Mount Vernon, and Pendleton Heights would all leave for the Hoosier Heritage Conference, while Yorktown would join the Rangeline Conference before also ending up in the HHC. Frankton would join the more geographically compact Central Indiana Athletic Conference in 1998, joining fellow northern Madison County schools Alexandria and Elwood. The WRC countered by adding two former BBRC schools: Knightstown (1995) and Eastern Hancock (1997). While the number of members in the conference shrank, its five members were of similar size and demographic. The conference remained stable for the next decade.

The end of the conference began when Wes-Del left after the 2007-08 academic year to rejoin the MEC. Lapel then joined the Indiana Crossroads Conference in 2009-10, playing in both conferences for the season before becoming a full member of the ICC for 2010-11. The three remaining schools afterward became independents. Eastern Hancock is now in the Mid-Hoosier Conference and its football arm, the Mid-Indiana Football Conference. These conferences are also possible destination for both Knightstown and Shenandoah in the future.

Former Membership (1989-2010)[edit]

School Location Mascot Colors IHSAA
Class
County Year joined Previous Conference Year left Conference Joined
Delta Muncie Eagles                AAA 18
Delaware
1989 Independents 1997 Hoosier Heritage
Frankton Frankton, IN Eagles           AA 48
Madison
1989 Mid-Eastern 1998 Central Indiana
Lapel Lapel Bulldogs           A 48
Madison
1989 Big Blue River 2010 Indiana Crossroads
Mount Vernon Fortville Marauders                AAA 30
Hancock
1989 Independents 1995 Hoosier Heritage
Pendleton
Heights
Pendleton Arabians                AAAA 30
Madison
1989 Independents 1997 Hoosier Heritage
Shenandoah Middletown Raiders           AA 32
Henry
1989 Big Blue River 2010 Independents
Wes-Del Gaston Warriors           A 18
Delaware
1989 Mid-Eastern 2008 Mid-Eastern
Yorktown Yorktown Tigers                AAA 18
Delaware
1989 Independents 1997 Rangeline (now in
Hoosier Heritage)
Knightstown Knightstown Panthers           AA 32
Henry
1995 Independents 2010 Independents
Eastern
Hancock
Charlottesville Royals           A 30
Hancock
1997 Independents 2010 Independents

Football Divisions 1989-1995[edit]

Upper Lower
Delta Frankton
Mount Vernon Lapel
Pendleton
Heights
Shenandoah
Yorktown Wes-Del

Former Membership (1954-1977)[edit]

School Location Mascot Colors County Year joined Previous Conference Year left Conference Joined
Frankton Frankton Eagles           48
Madison
1954 Independents 1977 Mid-Eastern
Lapel Lapel Bulldogs           48
Madison
1954 Independents 1977 Big Blue River
Markleville Markleville Arabians           30
Madison
1954 Independents 1969 none (consolidated into
Pendleton Heights)
Pendleton Pendleton Irish           30
Madison
1954 Independents 1969 none (consolidated into
Pendleton Heights)
St. Mary's Anderson Gaels           48
Madison
1954 Independents 1966 none (school closed)
Summitville Summitville Goblins                48
Madison
1954 Independents 1969 none (consolidated into
Madison-Grant)
Anderson Highland Anderson Scots                48
Madison
1955
1969
none (new school)
Mississinewa Valley
1963
1977
Mississinewa Valley
Classic
Middletown Middletown Cossacks           32
Henry
1955 East Central 1967 none (consolidated
into Shenandoah)
Madison Heights Anderson Pirates           48
Madison
1956 none (new school) 1959 Independents
Yorktown Yorktown Tigers                18
Delaware
1963 Delaware County 1977 Classic
Shenandoah Middletown Raiders           32
Henry
1967 none (new school) 1977 Big Blue River
Mount Vernon Fortville Marauders                30
Hancock
1968 East Central 1977 Independents
Pendleton
Heights
Pendleton Arabians                30
Madison
1969 none (new school) 1977 Classic
Wes-Del Gaston Warriors           18
Delaware
1969 Delaware County 1977 Mid-Eastern

Membership timeline[edit]

Eastern Hancock High School Knightstown High School Delta High School (Muncie, Indiana) Wes-Del High School Pendleton Heights High School Mount Vernon High School (Fortville, Indiana) Shenandoah High School Yorktown High School (Indiana) Madison Heights High School (Anderson, Indiana) Shenandoah High School Highland High School (Anderson, Indiana) Madison-Grant High School St. Mary's High School (Anderson, Indiana) Pendleton Heights High School Pendleton Heights High School Lapel Junior-Senior High School Frankton Junior-Senior High School

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Marleville and Lapel Are Tied". Anderson Herald, Anderson, IN. 1954-11-14. Retrieved 2012-08-11. 

Resources[edit]