By: John Raffel
Jack Pine getting two new schools
Pinconning and Shepherd High Schools have announced they will be joining the Jack Pine Conference for the 2019-29 sports seasons.
They will replace Roscommon and Houghton Lake, who are leaving for the Highland Conference, which includes Beal City.
Also in the Jack Pine are Beaverton, Clare, Farwell, Harrison, Gladwin and Sanford Meridian.
“With Chesaning and Ovid-Elsie leaving to go to the GAC, it left the TVC East and TVC Central with six schools in each division,” Shepherd athletic director Jay Travis said. “To help fill schedules it was agreed that the central and the east would cross over and play the six schools in the opposite division beginning with the 2018-19 school year. This was going to greatly increase travel for us and the level of competition was going to increase as well. Since we are one of the smallest schools in the central division, we felt it was necessary to pursue other options.
“One of the reasons we left the TVC is for travel distances,” Travis continued. “The main reason we left is because we feel our school and community are very similar to the schools and communities in the Jack Pine Conference. We just felt it's a better overall fit for us.”
Pinconning AD Kyle Woodruff agreed.
“The benefit for Pinconning is the travel is much better for us, the school sizes are similar, and we offer many of the same sports across the board as other Jack Pine Schools,” Woodruff said.