A change is coming in the Massachusetts high school sports landscape.
On Thursday, Austin Preparatory School revealed plans to join the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC), effective at the start of the 2022-2023 academic year.
With the change, the independent Catholic school for boys and girls from grades 6-12, located in Reading, Mass., will conclude its membership in the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA).
Currently, Austin Prep competes in the Catholic Central League as a member school of the MIAA, which it will continue to do for the remainder of the winter and spring seasons.
In the school’s first year of NEPSAC membership starting in the fall, Austin Prep intends for its boys and girls teams to compete against schools from several leagues within the NEPSAC under independent status before determining a league of its own.
Austin Prep said membership in the NEPSAC is partly motivated by “aligning and building relationships with other like-minded institutions.”
Director of Athletics Patrick Driscoll, a 1997 graduate of Austin Prep, said: “We are excited to see what the future holds for Austin Prep as a member of the NEPSAC and grateful to the leadership of the NEPSAC and all its member schools for welcoming us to this exceptional association.
“We are honored to have been extended this opportunity and look forward to working with all NEPSAC member schools to advance excellence.”
Head of School James Hickey, Ph.D., added that “the decision to join the NEPSAC is an inflection point in the history of Austin Prep. (It) creates opportunities to engage in athletic competition that maximizes the balance of academics and athletics, increasing visibility in the college athletics recruitment process, and competing at athletic facilities on par with our own.”
“We are extremely thankful to all the schools we have competed against over the years, especially our fellow Catholic schools and our friends in the Catholic Central League,” Dr. Hickey stated in a recent message with the Austin Prep community.
“The long history we have shared with the CCL is inseparable from the solid foundation on which our athletic department was built.”