After 10 years, the long travel times will soon be coming to an end for the Sheridan High School sports teams.

Sheridan, which joined the Hoosier Conference after the Rangeline Conference faded into history in 2000, will join the Hoosier Heartland Conference effective with the 2011-12 school year. The move comes just weeks after Lafayette Central Catholic announced it had been admitted to the Hoosier Conference. The Knights are currently competing in - where else? - the Hoosier Heartland Conference.

Other members of the HHC are Carroll, Clinton Prairie, Clinton Central, Rossville and Tri-Central.

Two of the factors in Sheridan making the switch are school size and travel time, as the majority of schools in the Hoosier Conference - Benton Central, Delphi, Rensselaer Central, Twin Lakes and West Lafayette - are all located at least an hour's drive away from Sheridan. Only Tipton, which also moved from the Rangeline to the Hoosier Conference, is close by.

"Making the switch to this conference was pretty easy to justify because you cut your travel time to your opponent's venues," said SHS athletic director Mike Shelburne.

As for school size, Sheridan was by far the smallest school in the Hoosier Conference, and often the only Class 1A football team in the league. The Blackhawks had the 272nd largest enrollment according to the IHSAA's four-class re-classification figures in 2007, with Delphi second smallest at 224th.

Both were the only 2A schools in the four-class sports (volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball). By contrast, Carroll and Clinton Central are also small 2A schools, while Clinton Prairie, Rossville and Tri-Central are among the largest 1A schools.