In 1952, three schools from Houston – St. John’s, Kinkaid, and Lutheran – met with St. Stephen’s of Austin and St. Mark’s of Dallas to discuss forming an organization to collaborate with and compete against like-minded schools.
After an additional meeting, leaders from the five schools agreed to create the Association of Texas Preparatory Schools, the precursor to the Southwest Preparatory Conference. The Association met semi-annually, rotating the location among the schools. The host school provided the chairman of the meeting and lunch, and the next host school provided the secretary.
The first football team was St. Stephen’s. The first basketball tournament was held in February 1953 and included three guest teams to fill out the eight-team bracket.
In April of 1953, Casady and Hockaday were invited to become members. The following year, the first girls’ basketball tournament was held, and girls’ volleyball began as a spring sport. In 1956, the organization adopted a constitution of governance.
The Association of Texas Preparatory Schools officially changed its name to the Southwest Preparatory Conference in 1958. Later that year, the first baseball tournament, track meet, tennis and golf matches occurred. Soccer, field hockey, and cross-country were added as SPC sports over the next several years as the conference grew to over 10 schools. One key development during the period was that membership required a school to be a member in good standing with the Independent Schools of the Southwest (ISAS).
Tournaments and travel were restructured in the 1970s. Conference guidelines grew as code of conduct language was applied to schools, athletes, parents, and spectators.
The SPC consists of Casady plus 17 schools in Texas:
- Hockaday, St. Mark’s, Episcopal School of Dallas, and Greenhill in Dallas.
- The Oakridge School in Arlington.
- Cistercian Preparatory School in Irving.
- Fort Worth Country Day and Trinity Valley in Fort Worth.
- The Awty International School, Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart, Episcopal High School, Houston Christian High School, Kinkaid School, and St. John’s School in Houston.
- John Cooper School in The Woodlands.
- St. Andrew’s Episcopal School and St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin.
These 18 schools all embrace a common philosophy of educating the whole child through exposure to academics, arts, and athletic programs. One distinguishing characteristic of the SPC is the season-ending tournaments. The College Board sets the Advanced Placement testing schedule in late spring, and the SPC concludes all of its competition by those dates.
SPC Facts Today
- SPC is organized by Zones (North and South). Finalists then compete against one another for the SPC Championship.
- Football and Lacrosse are the only SPC sports that consider the size of the school for competitions.
- Schools range from 288 to 780 students (*1010 when adjusted for single sex schools).
- Casady is the second smallest school in the SPC.