On Wednesday, Washington High School and three other Big 8 schools were admitted into the Pocket Athletic Conference, answering the much-anticipated question about the future of the Big 8, after Mount Carmel (Ill.), Vincennes and Jasper left.
The remaining schools, Princeton, Boonville, Mount Vernon and Washington will now join the PAC, as it will most likely expand to two divisions, a large and a small school and will feature Southridge, Forest Park, North Posey, Gibson Southern, Pike Central, Tecumseh, Heritage Hills, South Spencer, Tell City, Washington, Princeton, Boonville, Mount Vernon and the new conference alignment will begin in 2020-21.
The sport most affected will be football, however, there should be room for up to three non-conference game, which hopefully, will allow Washington's non-conference rivalry with North Daviess to continue. Tecumseh is an independent school in football, so the most logical solution would be to split the conference into two six-team divisions.
"For most of us it will not be that much of a difference," said WHS athletic director and basketball coach Gene Miiller. "Football will be the biggest change, but I don't thing we have a configuration or anyone has it all figured out yet. It had to happen, because we were down to four teams, so we were all looking for a place to go. We are appreciative that the Pocket Athletic Conference took us in.
"For most sports a lot of those dates are already set for both the PAC and Big 8 teams, so that is already done. We will have to add some games but we have a year to get that done."
Coach Steve Reed felt like baseball would not be greatly affected.
"We play almost all of those teams already. We will have to add Forest Park and Tell City, but we have played Tell City in nine of the last 11 years," said Reed.
The Big 8 was established in 1980 and between 2008 and 2011, the conference won four straight 3A basketball state titles (five in seven years). They also won state titles in football, baseball and tennis.