By TED RADICK
The Hardin Northern Local School District submitted an application Thursday to join the Northwest Central Conference.
At Wednesday’s school board meeting, the board voted 5-0 to direct Hardin Northern Principal Joe Hoelzle to apply to the NWCC. Hardin Northern has also started the process to withdraw from the Blanchard Valley Conference.
Hardin Northern Superintendent Doug Roberts said the NWCC board of governors gave a first read Thursday of a resolution approving the district’s application.
Roberts said NWCC bylaws require two readings of the resolution before its member schools will vote on accepting Hardin Northern.
“Today the NWCC received a letter of application from the Hardin Northern administration to join the NWCC,” league Commissioner Dave May said in a statement Thursday. “At this time, the NWCC is still reviewing and studying the possibility of Hardin Northern coming into the NWCC. We are hoping for a decision in the very near future.”
The next scheduled meeting of the NWCC board of governors is March 18.
“I’m assuming everything will go well at that time,” Roberts said.
Meanwhile, Hoelzle has informed the BVC of Hardin Northern’s request to hold a special meeting of the conference board to begin the district’s withdrawal process. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the BVC board isn’t until mid-April, hence the request to meet earlier.
BVC bylaws require a member wishing to withdraw to provide two years’ notice before being allowed to leave. That timetable can be altered if 75 percent of the BVC schools agree.
BVC Commissioner Dean Butler sees the positives for both Hardin Northern and the BVC as a founding member of a conference that began in 1965 prepares to leave.
“It appears that with the declining enrollment of Hardin Northern, and the schools in the Blanchard Valley Conference that are getting bigger, that the NWCC may be the best fit for them,” he said. “I hate to see them go, because I’ve been working with Hardin Northern people for a long time and they’re all quality people.
“Hardin Northern’s been a very quality member of our league. I guess everything changes. With the addition of teams into our league it may be in their best interest, and I’m assuming the school board felt this way or they wouldn’t have voted unanimously, to pursue the NWCC.
“I’ve enjoyed my time working with Hardin Northern. As I said, they have quality coaches and quality administrators. They’re easy to work with. They’re good people.”
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