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NCCC athletic directors recommend adding seven teams from ECC

ECC graphicAthletic directors of schools in the North Central Connecticut Conference have voted to recommend the admission of seven schools from the Eastern Connecticut Conference (ECC) into the league. However, any addition of any teams to the league requires the approval of the principals of the NCCC. 

At the moment, there is a tremendous amount of speculation going on. 

Repeated inquiries to league officials in the NCCC over the past few weeks have gone unanswered. There is no information available at this time on when or if the principals in the NCCC have or will vote on the proposal. The earliest new teams could join the NCCC is probably September 2016. 

Last week, the Norwich Bulletin and New London Day reported that the NCCC athletic directors recommending that Griswold, Plainfield, Killingly, Windham, Woodstock Academy, Lyman Memorial in Lebanon and Tourtellotte in Thompson be accepted into the league. However, the vote, according to sources, was not unanimous. 

The 16-team ECC is in flux at this time. Seven schools have applied to the NCCC. Four schools – Ledyard, New London, Fitch and East Lyme – announced that they would be leaving the ECC to form a new conference – the Southeastern Connecticut Athletic Conference. Another five schools — Bacon Academy, Waterford, Montville, Wheeler and Stonington — applied to join the Shoreline Conference in March. 

If Ledyard, New London, Fitch and East Lyme – four of the larger schools in the league – left, would the seven schools interested in the NCCC remain in a smaller 12-team ECC without four of the six biggest schools in the league? 

Woodstock Academy is a Class L school in many sports and the third largest school in the ECC behind NFA and Fitch. Woodstock is virtually the same size as Avon, which is completing its final season in the NCCC this spring. Avon is joining the Central Connecticut Conference in September. 

Enfield is expected to join the CCC in September 2017 once they merge with Fermi as the town of Enfield consolidates their two high schools back into one school. 

The ECC schools interested in joining the NCCC are a long, long drive away for teams such as Canton, which is the western-most team in the league. Many of the ECC schools interested in the NCCC are a lot closer to Stafford, Somers, Bolton and Coventry. 

“We’re happy in the NCCC but we want to make sure we are in the best possible academic and athletic relationship,” Canton athletic director Craig DeAngelis said. He referred additional questions about the applications to league officials. 

Next fall, the NCCC will have 14 teams including Bolton, Canton, Coventry, East Granby, East Windsor, Ellington, Enfield, Hartford Classical, Hartford’s Sport Medicine Science Academy (SMSA), Granby, Stafford, Somers, Suffield and Windsor Locks. 

Now in its 52nd season, the league made its debut in September 1963 with South Windsor, Suffield, Stafford, Ellington and East Windsor. 

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years.

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