Madison to depart HHC at end of 2020-21 school year


The Hoosier Hills Conference is going to lose one of its charter members.

Madison Consolidated High School has announced it is leaving the HHC effective at the end of the 2020-21 school year.

The Hoosier Hills Conference was organized in April 1972, and charter members were Bedford, Columbus East, Jennings County and Madison. Admitted to the conference in August 1976 were Bloomington North, Floyd Central and New Albany.

Jeffersonville was admitted in 1979, and Bloomington North withdrew from the conference following the close of the 1981-82 school year.

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Seymour was admitted to the conference in January 1995 and began participating in the fall of 1996.

Madison’s announcement that it would depart the HHC came at a winter meeting.

Madison Athletic Director Joe Bronkella said after the 2020-21 school year, Madison will become an independent.

“Being a charter member definitely makes it harder for this decision, but we believe it is what is best for the future of our athletic programming," he said. "School enrollment was a major drive in this, and our enrollment declined. We are projected to be down again after this school year while everyone grows.”

According to the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s school enrollment list, Madison was listed with 867 students. Jeffersonville is the largest school in the HHC with 2,035 students, followed by New Albany at 1,833, Floyd Central at 1,815, Seymour with 1,522, Columbus East 1,475, Bedford North Lawrence 1,471 and Jennings County 1,203.

The HHC has not played a full round-robin schedule in football the past two seasons. The conference was divided into two four-team divisions with Seymour linked together with Jennings County, Bedford North Lawrence and Madison.

The HHC played five conference games the past two seasons and will again this fall — the other three in the division and two in the other division. The two conference games in the other division changed every two years.

Seymour and Madison will play football in 2020 and 2021.

“Football will have the most dramatic impact in regards to scheduling since there are limited games compared to other sports," Bronkella said. "We do not intend to drop all HHC schools in all sports. We do like the idea of dropping them in throughout the sports that have a large number of games."

Madison plans to honor all of its game contracts.

“With the withdrawal, all HHC contracts we will play out, which most actually end this year or next," Bronkella said. "So some will be one-year deals to complete our conference requirement, and some will be longer if we agree to play each other.”

Seymour Athletic Director Kirk Manns said as it stands today, the HHC is a seven-team league.

"The Hoosier Hills member schools have met to discuss what options may be present," he said. "Those meetings are ongoing.”

As far as other schools joining the HHC, Manns said, “Nothing concrete, just hearsay.”

Athletics directors or principals at the other four Jackson County high schools said there are no changes planned in their conferences.

There were rumors floating around that Clarksville, Eastern (Pekin) and Silver Creek might leave the Mid-Southern Conference, but Brownstown Central Principal Joe Sheffer said those three schools have stated they want to stay.

Other members of the MSC are Salem, Austin, Scottsburg, North Harrison, Corydon Central and Charlestown.

Crothersville Principal Adam Robinson said the Southern Athletic Conference will remain the same. Other SAC members are Henryville, Lanesville, Borden, South Central and New Washington.

Brad McCammon, athletic director at Medora High School, said administrators at some of the Southern Roads Conference schools would like to expand from the six current members.

“There is nothing official yet. At our last meeting, there was discussion about adding two schools,” he said.

Other members of the SRC are Columbus Christian, Cannelton, Union Dugger, Madison Christian and Evansville Christian.

Michael McBride, athletic director at Trinity Lutheran High School, said the school would continue to play an independent schedule for all of its sports.

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