By Wes Wilson
For the Daily News
Over the last decade, the Cardinal Conference has grown to become an elite group of Class “AA” High School Athletic Teams in West Virginia. On Friday, it was announced that the conference was welcoming in three schools to form a 10-team league, beginning next fall. The three new members aren’t all so “new” though to the conference, as two out of three schools have previously been members.
The Logan Wildcats and Winfield Generals were members through the 2000’s while Nitro was previously a member of the Mountain State Athletic Conference. Current conference member, Tolsia will leave the conference because of the new WVSSAC Classifications that were released in November. The Rebels enrollment numbers dropped causing them to be a Class “A” team for the next classification period, 2016-2020.
Conference Commissioner, Ollie Hunting announced that the conference would now
Include North and South Divisions. The North Division will include Herbert Hoover, Nitro, Poca, Sissonville and Winfield, while the South will be made up of Chapmanville, Logan, Mingo Central, Scott and Wayne. In football, every team will be required to play the other nine league members, with one non-conference game. This will allow teams to preserve a rival game that isn’t against a conference foe, or schedule a quality opponent to earn extra bonus points towards the playoff rating system.
However though, this coming fall, several teams won’t play the entire conference due to previous contracts not expiring. In Basketball (both Boys and Girls), schools will face all their fellow division members twice and teams in the opposite division once in the regular season, totaling 13 Games. The Conference indicated that they would have a championship game as well as place-winner games at the end of the seasons.
Prior to Friday’s announcement, several teams were considered for positions in the Conference including Point Pleasant, Lincoln County, and Man. As for Mingo Central, the Miners’ 2016 football schedule is slowly developing. MCHS will travel to Nitro near mid-season and host Winfield for the regular season finale on November 4, 2016. It’s undetermined whether the Miners will see Logan, as some football contracts haven’t expired yet.