Other patrons saw the move as way for some programs which haven’t competed at a high level in the MIC historically to win with a higher frequency, albeit against what many perceived as lower-caliber competition.
As it stands currently, Eastern is the second smallest school in the MIC according to IHSAA enrollment numbers, and would be the smallest in the league with the impending departure of Taylor. In the new-look HHC, Eastern will be the largest school. After receiving an official invitation to join the HHC, Eastern’s 19 varsity coaches voted 15-4 in favor of the move on two separate occasions.
“It’s about all the kids,” said Principal Keith Richie, a former boys basketball coach at the school. “We have some programs that are very successful and will continue to be successful no matter which conference we are in. We have a couple programs where it’s not been fair. Football is one and basketball is another. And, I think this gives us an opportunity [to compete]. But like some of the other coaches said, this is not going to be a slam dunk that we’re going to beat up on anybody in this conference. It’s going to be a competitive conference, and we may still not be really successful. But, the key is that we’re comparing apples to apples now. The conference we’re in now, the Mid-Indiana Conference, is an outstanding conference. It’s just outgrown us, and I think it’s time for us to move on.”