At their monthly School Board Meeting earlier this month, the Taylorville School Board voted to apply for membership into the Apollo Conference. Currently, the Apollo Conference includes Charleston, Effingham, Mt. Zion, Newton, Olney, Paris, Robinson and Salem, but effective next school year, Olney, Newton and Robinson will be moving to the Little Illini Conference. Also effective next school year, Mattoon will be coming into the Apollo Conference, making them the sixth team, and with the possibility of Taylorville joining the conference after going through the approval process, that will make them the seventh team.
Dave Meister, Principal at Paris Cooperative High School, says that the Taylorville Athletic Program always provided Paris with a great, competitive match-up when they were part of the conference before leaving in the early 1990s. Now that they might be part of the conference again, Meister worries about the travel time to and from Taylorville for games.
With Paris now being the smallest school in the conference, Meister says that they have no good option as far as leaving the Apollo Conference to join another conference.
After speaking with Dave Veith, Athletic Director for the Mattoon School District, says that he welcomes the addition of Taylorville into the conference, stating that it would be a good fit and he doesn't see any future additions or subtractions of teams in the Apollo Conference. As far as the approval process, Veith says that the voting is in the principal's hands to either accept them into the conference or vote to deny them entry.
Charleston High School Principal Diane Hutchins gave no comment.