EAST WHITELAND >> The snowglobe that is the Ches-Mont League is close to being shaken once again.
Great Valley will likely join the Pioneer Athletic Conference beginning in the 2022-2023 season, according to multiple sources. The move is pending approval from the Great Valley school board.
Great Valley submitted its application to the Pioneer Athletic Conference, and that application was approved by the principals of PAC schools in a vote on Dec. 10, according to sources.
Pioneer Athletic Conference President Pat Nugent, the Spring-Ford High School principal, confirmed the vote Thursday morning: “On Tuesday, December 10, the Pioneer Athletic Conference voted to approve the Great Valley School District as a member of our conference starting with the 2022-2023 school year, pending approval of the Great Valley school board of directors,” Nugent released in a statement.
Efforts to reach Great Valley officials were not successful at the time of posting.
The school, which was an original member of the Ches-Mont League, has been a Pioneer Athletic Conference member in the past. The Patriots played in what was then the 10-school Pioneer Athletic Conference from 1988 until it returned to the Ches-Mont in 2002.
Great Valley is the northern-most school in the Ches-Mont, and would become the southern-most school in the PAC. The Pioneer Athletic Conference expanded to 12 schools in 2016 with the addition of Upper Merion and Norristown, schools both in close proximity to Great Valley. Neighbor and longtime rival Phoenixville is also a PAC school.
In addition to those three schools, the PAC includes schools along the Route 422 corridor: Methacton, Spring-Ford, Perkiomen Valley, Owen J. Roberts, Pottsgrove, Pottstown, Upper Perkiomen, Boyertown and Pope John Paul II.
The addition of Great Valley would elevate the PAC to 13 schools. The conference is aligned in two divisions, the large-school Liberty Division and smaller-school Frontier Division. As a 5A football school, Great Valley would align in size with Frontier Division schools.
The Ches-Mont recently reshuffled divisions slightly, at least for football, with the largest schools making up the National Division and the others in the American, including Great Valley.
Octorara was the last school to leave the Ches-Mont, heading to District 3 and the Lancaster-Lebanon League two seasons ago.