The news came out the middle of the day on Oct 29th that the Columbus Discoverers were leaving the GNAC conference in order to join the Heartland Athletic Conference. They will be full members come Fall of 2020
The HAC currently has 12 schools: Fremont, Grand Island, Kearney, Norfolk and Lincoln Pius X high schools, along with all six high schools in Lincoln Public Schools: Lincoln High, East, North Star, Northeast, Southeast and Southwest.
This is the second time in two years that the HAC has voted to expand and accept a new member, the last time was back in 2017 when they took in Kearney, Norfolk and Pius X.
This leaves North Platte in a tenuous position. According to Activities Director Jordan Cudney, NPHS is now the only Class A school that is not affiliated with either the HAC or the Metro conference. The rest of the GNAC is Class B schools, Two of whom already have a second conference that they play in (Scottsbluff and Gering are in the Western Nebraska Conference).
When asked what it means for NPHS, Mr. Cudney said "I'm not sure, we (GNAC) are going to have a conversation on how to go forward. This is something that has been talked about for sometime so it didn't take us by surprise. Losing a member of the conference is always tough on the rest of the schools. It makes sense for Columbus as they faced the same challenges in travel for conference play that we face playing in Class A. NPHS is committed to competing a the same high level that we have been in years past in the GNAC."
For right now the GNAC remains the home of the NPHS Bulldogs.