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Girls Catholic Athletic Conference expanding for 2015-16 school year

Updated: June 24, 2014 8:05AM



A major expansion for the Girls Catholic Athletic conference is on the horizon.

St. Ignatius athletic director and GCAC Corresponding Secretary Jim Prunty confirmed Thursday that six schools — Montini Catholic, St. Francis, Rosary, Providence, Bishop McNamara and Fenwick — will be joining the GCAC for the 2015-16 school year.

Montini, St. Francis and Rosary were members of the Suburban Christian Conference, which is disbanding after the 2013-14 school year. They will be competing as independents in 2014-15.

Providence, Bishop McNamara and Fenwick will be leaving the East Suburban Catholic Conference after the 2014-15 school year.

“The Suburban Christian schools decided to join ranks with us a couple of months ago,” Prunty said. “We had been in conversation with Bishop McNamara, Fenwick and Providence quite a number of times.

“We had a meeting in March with all six of those schools and laid out how we thought the future of the league could look. The three East Suburban Catholic schools wanted time to think about it, and when they researched with their coaches they came back and made the decision.”

The GCAC had 16 schools in 2013-14, but will be losing Mount Assisi, which will be closing in June. The GCAC will have 21 schools in 2015.

“I’m very excited for the conference,” Prunty said. “We think it is going to give us the premier girls conference certainly in the state, and maybe in the Midwest.”

Providence’s boys teams compete in the Catholic League, with many of the coed Catholic League schools competing in the GCAC.

“It was a big selling point,” Providence athletic director Doug Ternik said. “It’s a real good feeling knowing there are a lot of common opponents now between our boys and our girls sports, for sure.

“The East Suburban is a fantastic conference and a dominant girls conference. The competitiveness within that conference really helped develop and grow our women’s athletics at Providence. We’ll be sad in the sense that there will be some teams that we may only see once every so often, but the relationships we’ve had in that league will continue.”

Seven other Suburban Christian Conference schools — Chicago Christian, Aurora Central Catholic, Guerin, St. Edward, Immaculate Conception, Wheaton Academy and Walther Christian — will be join the Metro Suburban Conference in fall 2014.



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