(Updated at 3:12 p.m.)
At a meeting of Merrimack Valley Conference athletic directors this morning, the league unanimously approved the application of North Andover High for the beginning of the 2012-13 academic year.
North Andover had been among a host of schools, including the MVC’s Billerica, Chelmsford and Tewksbury, that had applied for entry into the Dual County League. The four schools were then invited to join the league before the DCL then put plans to expand to as many as 14 teams on hold in May.
"This was a great opportunity to add a first-rate school to the Conference," Dracut athletic director Tim Woods said following the meeting. "Our schools share a lot in common with North Andover and it fits geographically into the middle of the MVC.”
Rumors have persisted that Haverhill might eye a move to the Cape Ann League.
So, following North Andover's move to the MVC, is it likely that the Hillies will move over in a one-for-one move?
"Haverhill has not applied to the Cape Ann League and we do not plan to," Haverhill athletic director Tom O'Brien told ESPN Boston Thursday afternoon.
O'Brien did admit that when the MVC's demise was being forecasted, he'd explored "several options should the league break up", but it was never his intention to leave.
"Our priority at Haverhill has always been to keep the MVC together and remain a part of the league," O'Brien added. "We feel it is one of the top conferences in the state from top to bottom and are proud to be a member."