Last week’s vote by the Mifflin County School Board to merge Indian Valley and Lewistown high schools next year has opened the door for the new school to join the Mid-Penn Conference in 2012-2013.

There are a few sharp curves to negotiate before that happens, but it seems the likely destination for the yet-to-be named AAAA-sized high school.

Mid-Penn Conference executive director Fred Isopi told last night that the conference has tentative schedules that include the new Mifflin County school, should the school be booted from the Mountain League, the current home for both IV and Lewistown.

That will likely be decided at the Mountain League’s meeting Thursday in Huntingdon, a meeting that is taking place earlier than its usual January date because of the Mifflin County situation.

It is widely assumed that the Mountain League will not want a Class AAAA school in the league, but who knows? Central Mountain is a small Class AAAA school and it retains Mountain League membership.

In addition, the Mid-Penn is poised to admit State College in all sports (State College has been a football-only member since 2004), and it is the complete addition of State College that seems to make the Mifflin County School an acceptable fit for the Mid-Penn.

But this story still has a lot of unwritten chapters, and the assumption that the Mountain League will boot IV-Lewistown and the manly, shirtless Mid-Penn will catch the Mifflin County damsel is a bit premature. The MC school does cure a lot of the Mid-Penn’s football scheduling ills, so the Harrisburg mega-conference has both fingers crossed.

But this thing still has a long way to go. With the Mountain League and teh Mid-Penn both meeting on Thursday, we should know a lot more very soon.

In the interim, I want to see suggested names for the new Mifflin County school. I think Seven Mountains High School is a natural, even if it’s a wee bit predictable. Mifflin County High School is way too boring, although I’d like the abbreviated Miffco. And I’m pretty sure no one is going to suggest Penn Highlands after that early ’70s disaster.

Send along your suggestions. I’ll make you famous in the process.
Send along some ideas.

  10 Responses to “Mifflin County school headed to the Mid-Penn? Yep. Probably. Maybe.”

  1. Rod:

    I do know this: ANYONE who remembers the existence of Penn Highlands High School isn’t going to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease any time soon! As I recall, that merger lasted just one year. I do remember that it was an instant disaster, but I don’t remember ever hearing why.

    To be frank, I’m STILL grieving over the loss of Chief Logan and Kishacoquillas High Schools, the latter of which is easily the best name for a PA high school ever! (May the maroon and white Kish Indians R.I.P.) Naming that merger Indian Valley was a real downer.

    Since the merger that has been approved will result in a school with 702 boys and 673 girls, I don’t see how the Mountain League would be comfortable with such a giant as a member. As you say, Central Mountain is a SMALL Quad-A school (532 boys/540 girls), and the Wildcats aren’t overly dominate in the Mountain League. The Mid-Penn quite literally is the only league that makes sense for a school of this size.

    Although I’d LOVE to see “Kishacoquillas” rise from the dead, but I can’t imagine that happening — for several reasons. (When Penn Highlands dissolved, the Reading Eagle ran a small article entitled, “Kishacoquillas Rides Again.”) I like your idea of a “Seven Mountains High School,” though “Mifflin County High School” is indeed way too obvious and boring. My guess, however, is that MCHS is the name that will prevail. Let’s face it, Mifflin County has never been known as a hotbed of creativity! “Miffco?” That gets two thumbs down from me.

    I’m more interested in what the new school will choose for its colors and mascot. It seems that nearly every new school that comes along elects trite school colors and the same old worn out mascot names. Here’s a vote for the distinctive and unusual — any of which would be unique in PA to the best of my knowledge:

    1) Black, Brown & White
    2) Black, Brown & Yellow (NOT Gold)
    3) Black, Brown & Orange
    4) Red, Orange & White
    5) Blue, Green & White
    6) Orange & White
    7) Teal & White
    8) Teal, Gray & White
    9) Orange & Pewter/Silver/Gray
    10) Magenta & White
    11) Lime Green, Purple & Black
    12) Electric Blue, Black & Scarlet

    Alaska has numerous schools that have three school colors. Goldenview Middle School here in Anchorage recently chose Purple, Gold, and Black for colors and “Suns” as its nickname. Its wrestling mat is AWESOME!

    “Seven Mountains High School’s” nickname? Depending on the colors chosen, I’d again go with something unique to PA:

    1) Talons
    2) Black Storm
    3) Blizzard
    4) White Out
    5) Silver Storm
    6) Black Thunder

    I’ll keep thinking…

  2. How about Chief Kishacoquillas haha. I’m sure most of your readers wouldn’t get that Rod.

  3. Although 32 schools is in many ways a perfect conference size for Mid-Penn, primarily because it can be divided into four 8-team divisions, I am just not comfortable 2 teams so far away. Yes, I recognize that James Buchanan, and G-A are as far from Hershey and Palmyra, but mostly the Franklin county get there competitions without going meuch farther than, say Mechanicsburg. Every competition to Mifflin or Centre County is going to seem like an expedition.

    Would it not make more sense for the largest schools in D6, D4, D9 to form a conference of about 16 schools and divide in half as appropriate. I believe that those three districts will have 16 natural AAA wrestling schools (plus BEA and P-O which declare up but may not continue to do so.

    Still, I will concede that you know that geography better than I.

  4. Rich, I don’t think anyone is crazy about the distance, especially for some of so-called non-revenue sports, but I’m pretty sure the new Mifflin County school is going to seek out Mid-Penn schools anyway if it gets throw out of the Mountain League. So making it a member makes sense in that regard.

    Re a separate Class AAAA league: That has been discussed many, many times by the AAAA football schools and there were actually some steps taken in that direction, but it never got off the ground and I doubt that it ever will.

  5. My readers under 40, no. Old cats like me, yes.

  6. As far as a AAAA football teams in the D4/6/9 area, there are currently only 5 schools + the new Miffco. Of those 5 I believe that only State College would be a quicker trip for Lewistown than Harrisburg would be. Plus its possible that Central Mountain might be AAA in football in the near future anyway.

    As far as D6 teams/a new conference, I’d be shocked if Westmont or Johnstown were interested in leaving the Laurel Highlands.

    Would MiffCo apply for D3 membership? iirc D6 fought that when they applied earlier, but that was when discussing 2 AAA schools that played plenty of other D6 squads, now Miffco would likely be playing large portions – perhaps all other than State College – of their games against D3 schools. Then add in the fact that Juniata recently jumped from D3 to D6, so the geographic borders would be convoluted as well.

    Pardon my ignorance, but what was the Penn Highlands debacle?

  7. & Rod no 1/18 chat? I thought that this would be topic #1.

  8. Coach Rod:

    Now that Altoona and McDowell have been released by their home districts to compete in the District VII playoffs, I’d argue to keep this new high school in District VI. With just a little extra effort, it could be arranged so that Commonwealth Division schools have one home game and one road game each year when meeting State College and the new high school in football.

    As I have argued for many years, Williamsport should also be added to the current Districts VI-IX-X grouping. (I’ll take a moment to point out that this is now a REGION, according to the PIAA — not a SUB-REGION — which is a term that is incorrect and should no longer be used in any sport. Read the Handbook: There are no longer East and West Regions, either. These games are officially semifinals.) Yes, the Millionaires were 0-10 in 2009, but they were decent (7-3) in the regular season in 2010. Let’s face it, State College needs all of the competition it can get! As it stands right now, State High has a virtual pass into the PIAA quarterfinal round.

    Erie Strong Vincent, DuBois, Central Mountain, Williamsport, State College, and the new school would make a minimally respectable group of six teams for the PIAA football playoffs.

    OK, after thinking about it for a day, I’ll vote for “Kishacoquillas Academy.” Here’s why:

    1) Yes, it’s a bitch to spell, but people will learn. It’s no worse than the way folks — including reporters — butcher the spellings and pronunciations of Cocalico, Catasauqua, Moniteau, Tulpehocken, Wissahickon, Tunkhannock, Susquenita, Punxsatawney, Fort LeBoeuf, Aliquippa, Muhlenberg, and Pequea Valley.

    2) Although it doesn’t appear on the PA map I currently have, I’m certain there is a small village in Mifflin County still named Kishacoquillas.

    3) By calling it an “Academy,” instead of a “High School,” and choosing school colors that don’t include maroon, Kishacoquillas CAN ride again without showing quite as much deference to the former high school.

    It works for me! Then again, as I said last evening, “Seven Mountains High School” sounds good, too, but “Seven Mountains Academy” sounds even classier!

    Please keep us posted, Triplet Dad!

    Steve Fisher
    Anchorage, Alaska

  9. Hi all,

    With some help from the master, I’ve been covering the ML/MPC/merger issue for The Sentinel, Mifflin County’s newspaper. If I can address some of the points you’ve brought up here:

    1. The Penn Highlands was a merger of Mifflin County’s then four high schools in the early 1970s. It lasted three academic years, and was disbanded as the result of a lawsuit against the district, among other reasons. After that, Lewistown absorbed Rothrock; Chief Logan and Kishacoquillas formed Indian Valley in the late 1980s.

    2. In football, Districts 6, 9 and 10 combine in Class AAAA. There is just one quad-A school in District 4, Williamsport, and it qualifies through District 2.

    3. At this time, the combined MC school intends to stay in D6, as, presumably, does State College. Altoona and Hollidaysburg play in the WPIAL in football only, and remain in D6 in all other sports — in other words, the 6-9-10 subregional is likely to stay with one new member. Plus, the WPIAL/D7 are one and the same, which is not the case for the Mid-Penn and D3.

    4. It is possible Central Mountain will drop; they are just 19 over the line in football now. Projected numbers for combined MC show the next PIAA cycle could be 70 students less than the current combined total — populations change.

    5. Steve, I like some of your crazy colors. I won’t hold my breath, though 😉

  10. Jeff:

    Thanks for the history lesson! I really do appreciate it. Do you recall what the lawsuit was about?

    Believe me, I’m not holding my breath about those colors and nicknames, either!


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