Heartland Athletic Conference announces expansion

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LINCOLN, Neb. - The Heartland Athletic Conference voted unanimously on Monday to expand to a 12-team conference beginning with the 2020-2021 fall season. Columbus High School applied for and accepted the invitation to join the HAC as a full-time member.

“The current members of the Heartland Athletic Conference are excited to unanimously admit Columbus, as they will be a great fit to our outstanding athletic and academic traditions," said Zach Limbach, 2019-20 HAC president and athletic director of Lincoln East High School. "We look forward to the positive impact that Columbus will make in an already competitive conference.”

The conference’s current members are 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.

“The Heartland Athletic Conference provides Columbus with tremendous opportunities for quality competition and growth in all sports and activities, while renewing some of our historic rivalries. Columbus High School has a rich history of outstanding athletics and academics and we believe this membership will only elevate this profile,” said Tim Kwapnioski, director of activities, Columbus High School

The last time the conference expanded was in 2017 with the addition of Lincoln Pius X, Kearney and Norfolk high schools.