NEWTON — The Little Ilini Conference voted to accept Paris into the conference effective starting with the 2014-15 season.
“They make the most sense today to bring into the conference,” said Cumberland principal Todd Hall, who also serves the conference as the vice president. “Paris had sent an official letter about it (joining the conference), and we voted to accept them. They replace Oblong. There really wasn’t anybody else out there. They wanted to be a part of this.”
Paris principal and superintendent Dave Meister was awaiting an official letter from the LIC, which is expected to be received today, before commenting further than saying, “We are cautiously optimistic.”
Oblong’s resignation from the LIC was accepted as well. Oblong is to join the Little Okaw Valley Confer-ence starting in the 2014-15 school year.
Paris is a charter member of the Apollo Conference, which was formed in 1970. Paris in the 2012-13 school year is to have an IHSA enrollment of 582 students based on attendance Sept. 30, 2011.
Hall said the conference had to work fast with the Apollo Conference deadline for giving notice of leaving the conference being July 1.
“We had to do it quickly,” Hall said. “Otherwise our conference would have been out of balance in the 2014-2015 seasons. We needed to get them in so they could give notice to the Apollo conference by July 1.”
Hall said the conference is to meet again Aug. 1 to discuss which school would be in which division starting in 2014-2015.
For the next two years, the LIC is to consist of two divisions. The small division is to include Cumberland (enrollment of 285), Casey-Westfield (320), Edwards County (257) , Red Hill 9272) and Palestine-Hutsonville (212) and Oblong (181). A large school division is also to exist with Newton (459), Robinson (500), Olney (619), Marshall (415), Lawrenceville (356) and Flora (367).
Taylorville (844) is to join the Apollo Conference in 2014-15, but with the conference losing Paris, it would be back down to six teams. Members of the Apollo Conference for the next two years are Charleston (824), Effingham (829), Mount Zion (752), Paris (582), Salem (763), and Mattoon (996).
Charleston will be the only remaining charter member of the Apollo Conference in 2014-15. Charleston and Paris have been in the same conference continuously since 1952 when the Eastern Illinois Conference was formed, according to the website Illinoishsglorydays.com.
Paris looked into joining the LIC in the spring of 2010 but was rejected at that time.
Contact Monahan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 238-6854.