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Big 10 welcomes Lewis Co.

From Staff Reports

Lincoln High School principal and Big 10 Conference president Jerry Toth confirmed Wednesday that Lewis County High School was admitted into the conference at Sunday's Big 10 meeting at Robert C. Byrd High School.

Toth said Lewis County was voted in unanimously by the principals of the eight-member schools.

"This gives us four AA schools and four AAA schools now," Toth said. "I think it makes good sense for everyone involved. They've got a new school, they'll have a new football field by the fall and an all-weather track is in the works.

"I think Lewis County is good for the Big 10, and I think the Big 10 is good for Lewis County."

The school was a member of the Big 10 during the 1980s, but left to join the all-AAA NCAC conference.

Lewis County athletic director Richard Hiserman said the school is still committed to the NCAC through the fall of 2000 and has a two-year grace period in football due to contractual agreements. However, the school would be eligible for the winter and spring sports.

Next fall, Lewis County has current Big 10 members South Harrison, Bridgeport and Philip Barbour on its schedule.

"Everybody in the conference has been real agreeable," Hiserman said. "I've worked with most of these people throughout my coaching career."

With the most recent enrollment figures, Lewis County, Robert C. Byrd, Grafton and Philip Barbour would participate in Class AAA, while Lincoln, Liberty, Bridgeport and South Harrison would remain in Class AA.

Toth said the addition of another AAA school would ease scheduling problems in football for its other AAA schools. The conference which once boasted as many as 16 members fell to seven with the establishment of the NCAC.

Toth said he was pleased to have eight members in the conference and said the Big 10 would consider expanding in the future.

"We would certainly welcome any other schools who would want to join the conference," Toth said. "It's a year-to-year thing. There's a lot of consideration that goes into factoring who will join.

"Right now, though, we're very happy with having eight members. I think Lewis County is a very big asset to the Big 10."

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