Following the announcement a few weeks ago that Walla Walla and the seven Tri-Cities high schools are leaving the Big 9 conference, school officials today unveiled the name of the new 8-team league.

It will be called "The Mid Columbia Conference" consisting of Walla Walla, and Richland, Hanford,  Pasco, Chiawana,  Kennewick, Kamiakin, and Southridge.

Citing economic issues that have been bubbling for years, the Big 9 Athletic Directors and others tried to work out a way to cut travel costs, but it just didn't pan out. Last fall, the Big 9 originally split into a North and South format, but the North Schools said that didn't help their travel issues to Walla Walla and the Tri-Cities.

While nothing is official, it is assumed Wenatchee, Eastmont, Davis, Eisenhower, West Valley Yakima,  Moses Lake and possibly Sunnyside will be all that is left of the old Big 9. The league had it's origins back to the late 1960s. The new Mid Columbia Conference will officially begin play in the 2012-13 school year.