Hardin Northern High School in Dola will become a member of the Northwest Central Conference, NWCC Commissioner David May announced Wednesday night in an email.
“The NWCC is excited to have Hardin Northern join the league and is looking forward to a long term relationship,” May said in the email.
Hardin Northern’s athletic teams, the Polar Bears, will begin competing in the NWCC in all sports minus football starting with the 2014-15 school year.
HN will become a full member of the conference starting with the 2015-16 school year when its football program will join the NWCC.
The (Findlay) Courier reported HN’s school board voted to apply for membership in the NWCC on Feb. 19. One month later, the conference announced the school as a new member.
The NWCC’s current membership consists of Lehman Catholic (Sidney), Perry (Lima), Ridgemont (Ridgeway), Riverside (DeGraff), Temple Christian (Lima), Upper Scioto Valley (McGuffey), Waynesfield-Goshen (Waynesfield) and Fort Loramie.
Temple Christian does not sponsor a football program, so Hardin Northern will be the conference’s eighth football-playing member starting with the 2015 season.
Fort Loramie is a football-only member of the NWCC, so Hardin Northern will put the conference at eight members in all other sports.
The Polar Bears did not field a varsity football team for the 2013 season. They will play an independent schedule in 2014 before joining the NWCC in 2015.
Waynesfield-Goshen is scheduled to play a non-conference football game against HN in Week 2 of the 2014 season.
Hardin Northern High School has one of the smallest enrollments among Ohio High School Athletic Association members, with a combined 105 boys and girls in grades 9-11 as of the OHSAA’s most recent figures approved in May 2013.