The Eastern Independent League (EIL) of NEPSAC and its member schools are excited to announce the addition of The Wheeler School in Providence, Rhode Island as the EIL’s newest member. Wheeler was officially confirmed as a member during the Eastern Independent League Heads of School meeting on January 30 and will begin EIL competition this fall.
“We are ecstatic to be joining the EIL community as part of our NEPSAC affiliation,” said Wheeler’s Director of Athletics Sean Kelly, a 2002 Wheeler graduate. “Each of the member schools represents everything that we’ve been looking for: they share our academic and athletic mission on and off the field of play, as well as a commitment to the highest ideals of healthy competition, respect, sportsmanship, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and so much more.”
“The EIL is thrilled to have The Wheeler School become an official member of the league in the fall of 2023,” said Sue Johnson, Concord Academy’s Director of Athletics and current President of the EIL. “Their programming will add to an already competitive league. Most importantly, their focus on providing an excellent experience for each student-athlete is perfectly aligned with the EIL.”
Wheeler has established relationships within the Eastern Independent League, as the Warriors often competed against EIL schools in NEPSAC non-league games and tournament play dating back to the 1980s. The most prominent relationship is perhaps with Pingree School. For over three decades, the schools have held Pingree-Wheeler Day fall competitions, a rivalry that was inspired after the passing of a community member who had worked at both schools. Additionally, the Warriors have a longstanding history with fellow in-state independent school Portsmouth Abbey from the years when both were members of the SENEISAA.
In joining the EIL, the Wheeler Warriors will bring more than 50 Middle and Upper School teams, representing 16 interscholastic sports, into the league. While Wheeler’s main campus is located in the heart of Providence’s East Side, the school’s 120-acre property in Seekonk, Massachusetts, known as Wheeler Farm, serves as the primary home to its athletic programs. The farm includes seven grass athletic fields, an all-natural turf field, eight tennis courts, and the solar-powered Van Norman Field House, which includes three basketball courts and a weight room.
Wheeler’s arrival to the EIL marks the first membership change to the league since the addition of Portsmouth Abbey in 2007.