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The Heritage Conference has filled the void created when Ligonier Valley left to join the WPIAL.

On Monday, the conference voted to approve the request of Cambria Heights to become a member of the Heritage Conference. Cambria Heights will begin competition in the conference starting with the 2021-22 school year.

The departure of Ligonier Valley left the conference with nine schools. The addition of Cambria Heights restores it to 10. 

 “The addition of Cambria Heights will assure the longevity of our conference and enable us to continue to meet our mission of providing positive and enriching experiences for students within our member schools in our core focus areas of academics, athletics and the arts,” Jody Rainey, Heritage Conference president, said.

Cambria Heights is located in Patton in northern Cambria County. The Highlanders have been a member of the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference since it formed in 1989-90.

According to figures posted on the PIAA website, Cambria Heights’ male enrollment is 160 in grades 9 to 12 for the 2020-21 year and the female enrollment is 174, which would be the highest total in the conference.

“I am pleased that our member schools viewed the addition of Cambria Heights from a more global lens and not solely from a singular athletic lens,” Rainey said. “With any change there are pros and cons for both sides. In this case, both parties saw many more positives than negatives and we are thrilled to add Cambria Heights to our conference.”

The Cambria Heights school board had voted 8-0 last week to apply for membership to the Heritage Conference, but had laid the groundwork in late 2019.

Ken Kerchenske, principal at Cambria Heights, said, “The board of school directors looked at the totality of what the Heritage Conference has to offer the students of Cambria Heights in voting 8-0 to apply for membership in the conference last week. The district looks forward to forging relationships with other member schools and participating fully in the Heritage’s athletics and other competitions.”

In November, the Heritage Conference and Bishop Carroll High School reached a two-year agreement in which the Huskies will play as an independent in football and replace Ligonier Valley on the schedule.