By Aaron Kirchoff Rushville Republican
---- — This week has been closed to high school athletes and coaches as the IHSAA requires a week to observe a moratorium from activities. There could be no contact between the athletes and coaches and no activities, even conditioning.
As the week is winding down and athletes and coaches begin to look at the next school year and sports seasons, big changes are a head for the RCHS sports programs.
Rushville will be entering play in the Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference (EIAC). Rushville along with Connersville are the new members to the conference that includes Batesville, East Central, Franklin County, Greensburg, Lawrenceburg and South Dearborn.
Over the past couple years leading up to this change, I have been asked how I feel the change will benefit the sports programs. The big thing most are wondering is if it will allow us to compete for more conference championships.
My answer has been, “Depending on the sport and year.”
Having spent several years covering sports in Decatur County and the EIAC, I can see some of the teams remain consistent while there seems to be a cycling through in other sports where a good group of kids can make a difference.
The one program that I don’t see a benefit for is the Lady Lion basketball team. The Lady Lions annually battled for the conference title. They are always near the or on top of the conference. The competition in the EIAC will not be at the same level as the Lady Lions had in the HHC. In my opinion, Rushville will be the favorite going in to the basketball season in most years.
For boys’ basketball, the Lions are jumping into one of the tougher conferences. Defending Class 3A state champion Greensburg heads a solid group of teams including Batesville with Division I prospect Bryan Hoeing and East Central. I do believe that Coach Brian Bowen will have his Lions very competitive in this conference year after year.
Batesville and Greensburg are consistently solid in tennis, but I think the sectional champion Lady Lions and Lions will have more success in the EIAC.
The Lion track team is coming off its first HHC title and Coach Ryan Standish has had the Lions competing well at the East Central Invitational, which has many of the EIAC team in it.
Rushville’s baseball and softball teams both reached the sectional title game this year in a field full of EIAC teams, so competing in the conference should be exciting year after year.
I believe the remaining RCHS sporting teams have a chance to compete and have success in this new conference.
The drive time is a wash. Rushville no longer has to make the long treks to Delta and Yorktown, but now will have to go to Lawrenceburg and South Dearborn.
It is an exciting time for Rushville and the EIAC. I look forward to watching and reporting on the success of our local student-athletes.
Contact: Aaron Kirchoff at 765-932-2222, ext. 114