How can you have a website about schools that are now only a memory without having a listing of the once hundreds
of great conferences that they participated in? This one has skipped us for many months but here it is. This
is only a start. If you have a conference you wish to add please write to us at:
Please try to include the dates the conference was active and the schools were members. This should really jog some
memories as well!
A Special thank you goes out to Tom Sikorski
who supplied much of the information for nearly all of
the conferences on this page. Tom is obviously a true fan of high school sports and has spent a great deal of time
researching high school team conferences, especially the GREAT CONFERENCES that many of our schools were once a
part of. If you have any questions regarding a conference you wish to learn more about you can contact Tom
directly at Tom471@earthlink.net
Though most of the Conferences listed speak of football only, this page is for conferences of ALL sports.
*Schools with Bold Letters that are underlined denote a deactivated school
covered on this website. Just place your pointer on the school's name. "left click," and you will be taken to that
particular school's page on this site.
Western Military Academy of Alton was the sole Illinois school in this league which included various small private academies in
Missouri. Western Military last fielded a football team in 1970.
Academic League (aka Interacademic League)
(from Robert Pruter) In the East, the primary athletic
powers in the 1890’s and first decades of the twentieth century were the private boarding schools, notably Hill Academy in Pottstown, Pennsylvania; Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg,
Pennsylvania; and Lawrenceville Academy in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. In the Chicago
area, the balance of power was just the reverse. It was the public schools that generally
produced the top teams and athletes.
Private boarding schools in the Chicago area were mainly
served by the Academic League, or Interacademic League as it was called, founded in 1896
with a track and field tournament.
The three charter members and
mainstays of the league were the boarding academies—Morgan Park Academy in the then-southwest suburb of Morgan Park, Northwestern Academy (after 1907, Evanston Academy) in the near north suburb of Evanston, and Lake Forest Academy in the far north suburb of Lake Forest. In 1900, the Academic League added
two new members, two day schools: South Side Academy, an associate institution of the University of Chicago; and Armour Academy, an associate institution of the Armour Institute.
South Side Academy was organized in 1892, and was designed to
prepare students for the University of Chicago.
The institution became an associate institution of the University in 1897, and after the
1902-03 season, merged with Manual Training to form University High. The newly merged institution developed a strength in track and field, and chose to compete in the sport in the Cook County League. In the 1904-05 season, University High
joined the Cook County League in basketball competition as well, a sport not offered
by the Academic League at the
time. The school completely left the league at the end of the season to join the Cook County
Armour Academy was established as the preparatory department of
the Armour Institute, opened on the
South Side in 1893 by meatpacking king Philip D. Armour. The school originally went by the name Armour Scientific Academy, but around 1900, the shortened version became the norm. The school began competiting in an independent schedule of interscholastic athletics in 1895.
Also in 1900, another institution,
Lewis Institute, requested to join the league. The school was a West Side technical school founded
in 1898 with elementary, high school,
and college departments. The two-year college department was problematic for the league, but Lewis made the request under
the stipulation that only students under 21 would compete in league contests. Notwithstanding the concession, the league denied entrance. The Academic
League at this time also reorganized with
a new constitution and bylaws.
The new bylaws imposed new regulations, mirroring the regulations
that the Cook County League imposed with its reorganization in 1898. Under the bylaws, a student:
1. Must be
making a passing grade in at least ten school hours of regular academic study.
2. He must have
completed over fifteen units of academic study (or its equivalent); the word unit to mean
one study for four hours a week, carried for one school year.
3. He must not have matriculated in any college or university.
4. He must not have
participated in any intercollegiate game or contest.
5. He must not have participiated in interacademic athletics for more than four years.
6. He must never have received
any renumeration for his services in athletics.
These new regulations reflected precisely the problems that most secondary school athletics faced during the previous decade. Most tellingly, most of them related to the eligibility of the student-athletes.
The league was vigorous in its football, track & field, and
baseball programs, but was slow in adopting basketball,
in 1907. However, upon adoption of the sport, Evanston Academy and Morgan Park Academy proved as formidable
as the public schools. Compared to developments in the Eastern boarding schools, the Academic League
had a poor program of minor sports,
except for tennis. Evanston Academy was particularly outstanding in swimming (producing 1908 Olympian Robert Foster) and golf (producing Chick
In 1907, the league began to fall apart, when no football schedule could be adopted as a result of Evanston Academy dropped football at the behest of its parent
institution, Northwestern University,
which had eliminated the sport. The spring of 1908 saw the dropping of the annual track
and field meet, the event that had given birth to the league.
At the end of the 1910 season, the Academic League broke up when
two of the four members withdrew. In subsequent
years, the schools that used to make up the league would claim to titular titles, such
as “Western champion,”
champion,” and even “Academic League champion.” The situation remained unorganized until the formation of the Midwest Prep Conference in 1927, when these
same schools organized as a track and field meet along with other private schools, followed in subsequent years by other
Ambraw Valley Conference
According to Young America alum Harold Stone:
"The athletic conference we were in in my time and would have been the conference prior-1949 until
at least 1955, was the "Ambraw Valley Conference". which in the early 50's was the schools of Brocton-Redmon, Chrisman, Kansas, Scottland and Young America."
Marlin Wilson (Chrisman HS Class of '64) advises the Ambraw Valley existed at least through
the 1960s, possibly into the early 1970s. Marlin goes on to state, "The Ambraw was primarily a basketball conference, and
because all of the schools were very small, there was no football. We competed in baseball in the fall, playing each member
school once. Basketball was always a home and home schedule in the Winter and there was a conference track meet at Paris (neutral site) in the Spring."
The Apollo conference was formed in 1970 and its four charter football members were Charleston, Newton,
Paris and Robinson. In 1972, Decatur Lakeview and Mt. Zion joined, and in 1981 Effingham and Taylorville were added. Robinson played an independent
schedule in football from 1981 through 1983. Decatur Lakeview closed in 1982. In 1993 Taylorville
left to join the newly forming Central State 8 and in 2003, Olney and Salem became the league's newest members. Mattoon joined
the ranks in 2012.
Formed in 1960, its charter football members were Biggsville Union, Media Wever
, Monmouth Warren
, Monmouth Yorkwood and Stronghurst
. In 1961 Roosevelt Military
joined and in 1962 Roseville
was added. La Harpe
joined in 1970. In 1971, Stronghurst
and Media Wever
consolidated forming Stronghurst Southern
. In 1972 Sciota NW
joined in, while in 1973 Roosevelt Military
closed. Avon took their place and played
its first full football schedule in this conference in 1975. The league was remarkably stable until 1991 when the Sciota
and La Harpe co-op was formed as well as the Avon-Roseville
co-op which left the league with
6 teams. In 1993 Alexis
was added and in 1995 Spoon River Valley. The league's final football season was 1997.
Big 6 (western Illinois/eastern Iowa)
From George Scheetz, Director, Batavia Library District:
found an article of interest on the Big 6 conference (attached). This conference in northwest Illinois included two high schools
article sent by Mr. Scheetz was located in the October 07, 1922 addition of the Aurora Beacon News.
The article reads as follows:
Six Is Formed After Big 7 Plan"
high schools of northwestern Illinois and two nearby high schools from Iowa, have organized what will probably be
known as the "Big Six" modeled after the lines of the "Big Seven" conference. Principal E.B. Freshwater of
Macomb High School has been the moving spirit of the organization, and announced the following members of the infant organization:
Quincy, Pittsfield, and Carthage, of Illinois, and Ft. Madison and Keokuk, of Iowa. It is planned to include the three major sports of football,
basketball, and track."
The Big 7 formed in 1919.
*From George H. Scheetz:
"I found a reference to a Northern Illinois Football Conference in 1919 (in the Aurora Daily Beacon-News),
and later discovered that this conference was renamed the Big Seven Conference by 1921."
This conference started out with seven schools: Freeport, Rockford H.S.
, Joliet H.S., Elgin, DeKalb and Aurora's East and West. DeKalb departed in 1929 and LaSalle-Peru replaced
them. In 1940 Rockford H.S. split in two (East/West
) and the conference was renamed the "Big 8." In 1960, Rockford Auburn was built and it took the place of Joliet,
who left for the South Suburban Conference. In 1963, Elgin and the Aurora schools left and Machesney Park Harlem, Belvidere
and newly built Rockford Guilford joined. LaSalle-Peru leaves for the NCIC in 1964 and is replaced with Rockford Boylan. Jefferson
Junior High in Rockford becomes a high school and joins in 1971, renaming the conference the "Big 9". Rockton Hononegah joins
from the defnuct Shark Conference in 1982 and the name is changed to "NIC-10."
is a chronological timeline of the history of the Big 7 and NIC provided by Steve Solarz:
- The Northern Illinois High School Conference began play in 1916 with East
Aurora, West Aurora, DeKalb, Freeport, Rockford, Elgin and Joliet as charter
members. Following a series of disputes during that first season, including the
fact that no one had considered how ties would impact the standings, West
Aurora, Freeport and Elgin were ruled to have finished in a "three-cornered
tie," with no champion. DeKalb withdrew prior to the 1917-18 school year, and
the league continued with six schools. Rockford won the 1917 championship with
a 4-1-0 record. The 1918 season was cancelled due to the Spanish flu pandemic
of that year. (This is why, I believe, most people think the league began in
- DeKalb rejoined the NIHSC in 1919, and by 1921 newspapers began referring to
the league as the Big 7. Gradually, reference to the Northern Illinois High
School Conference faded away, and the league became known as the Big 7.
- In 1929, DeKalb once again left the conference, and the league became known
as the Big 6.
- In 1935, LaSalle-Peru was added, and once again the league was called the
- In 1940, Rockford split into Rockford East and Rockford West, and the
conference became the Big 8
- In 1960, Rockford Auburn replaced Joliet, which left for the South Suburban
- In 1963, East Aurora, West Aurora and Elgin left the Big 8 to help form the
Upstate 8 Conference, and were immediately replaced by Harlem High School,
Belvidere High School, Rockford Guilford High School.
- In 1964 LaSalle-Peru was replaced by Rockford Boylan.
- Rockford Jefferson joined in 1971 and the Conference became the Big 9.
- In 1982, Hononegah High School joined and the conference was renamed
the Northern Illinois Conference (NIC-10), perhaps unknowingly returning to its
roots and the Northern Illinois High School Conference.
- Rockford West closed in 1989 and, the conference became the NIC-9.
- Belvidere North High School opened in 2007.
- 2016 MARKS THE 100TH YEAR OF EXISTENCE FOR THE BIG 7 / NIC-10.
FREEPORT HIGH SCHOOL IS THE ONLY SCHOOL TO HAVE PARTICIPATED IN ALL 100 YEARS OF EXISTENCE!
Big 8 (1980 to 1990)
This version of the Big 8 was formed in 1980 with Burlington Central, Genoa-Kingston, Hampshire, Huntley, Richmond-Burton,
Sandwich and St. Charles Valley Lutheran
as its charter members. Genoa-Kingston dropped football in 1983, but the program was resurrected in
1984 by playing an independent schedule and fully returned to the conference frays in 1985. Meanwhile, Harvard was
added in 1984. North Boone joined in 1985, taking the place of Sandwich who had departed that same year to join the Interstate
8. North Boone and Valley Lutheran dropped out in 1990, the league's final football season. Remaining member schools
formed the Big Northern Conference with members of the Mid-Northern.
Formed in 1991, its charter members were Burlington Central, Byron, Forreston, Genoa-Kingston, Hampshire, Harvard, Marengo,
Oregon, Ottawa Marquette, Richmond-Burton, Stillman Valley and Winnebago (who co-oped with Pecatonica of the NUIC until 1994) in
a two-division format. They played in split divisions in each sport, having different realignments frequently. In 1995
Forreston left and Huntley joined. In 1998 Ottawa Marquette left and Johnsburg joined. In 2003 Huntley left and Rockford
Lutheran joined. Johnsburg left in 2006 and North Boone replaced them.
The Conference landscape changed heavily in the early 2010s for the first time since its inception. Hampshire left in
2011 for the Fox Valley and Rock Falls was added as its replacement. Mendota also joined in all sports except football in
2011, and became a full-fledged member when its' football program joined in the gridiron wars in 2012, which is
when Rockford Christian became a member.
The charter members of the Big 12 in the spring of 1925 were Bloomington, Champaign, Danville, Stephen Decatur
, Lincoln, Jacksonville, Mattoon, Pekin, Peoria Central, Peoria Manual, Springfield, and Urbana. Bloomington
left in 1927 due to finances but returned in 1932 when Jacksonville left and Streator replaced them. In 1958, Pekin, Peoria
Central, Peoria Manual and Streator left. Springfield played an independent schedule in football from 1977 through 1979. In
1983, the league was back to 12 teams with the departure of Springfield and the addition of Champaign Centennial, Decatur
Eisenhower, Decatur Macarthur, Normal Community and Rantoul. The two-division format was initiated with Centennial, Champaign
Central, Danville, Mattoon, Rantoul and Urbana in the East and Bloomington, Decatur, Eisenhower, Macarthur, Lincoln and Normal
in the West. Lincoln left in 1994 and Normal West played its first full varsity schedule in the loop in 1995. 1999
was Stephen Decatur's final season and in 2004, Rantoul left. Mattoon left in 2012 and Decatur MacArthur along with Decatur
Eisenhower left in 2013. In the fall of 2015, Peoria Central (now Peoria High) and Peoria Manual returned
and brought along Peoria Richwoods and Peoria Notre Dame.
(from Robert Pruter) The Bi-County League was briefly in existence for two years during the war. The
league was formed when Wheaton, Naperville, and West Chicago
from the DuPage County League joined Batavia, Dundee, Geneva, and St. Charles of the Kane County Conference. Apparently, the members
were not happy with the arrangement, because the league broke up within two
years. Wheaton, Naperville, and West Chicago joined a reorganized DuPage County League.
Bi State (Iowa)
This conference existed for 3 short seasons from 1972 to 1974, featuring Erie and Prophetstown in Illinois and
Camanche, Pleasant Valley and Northeast in Iowa.
Bi State (Missouri)
Formed in 1966, this league featured Alton Marquette, Belleville Althoff and East St Louis Assumption
with various Missouri private schools. Alton Marquette left the league in 1970 and ESL Assumption left in 1974. Belleville
Althoff's last season in the Bi State was 1975.
The conference roots may have began in the 1930's. Research by Mark Jurenga
revealed a boys'
softball conference in 1937 called the Black Diamond that included Carlyle, Greenville, Nashville, Ashley
, and Sandoval. The conference also had a conference track meet that year. Basketball was a part of the conference competition
The conference was later formed by 5 former members of the Coal Belt in 1955 -Carterville, Christopher, Elkville
. In 1962 Carbondale U-High
joined and consolidations changed Ziegler to Ziegler-Royalton and Elkville to Elkville-Elverado. The following
year, Sesser and Vallier consolidated. In 1967 Carbondale U-High dropped football. The league suspended football
for one season in 1974 when Carterville and Christopher joined the Southern Illini and the remaining schools played independent
schedules. The league was reformed in 1975 with the return of Carterville and Christopher and the addition of Johnston
City. The resulting 6 team league was stable for 15 years when in 1990 Christopher and Ziegler-Royalton began their coop
and McLeansboro was added. Cairo and Eldorado joined in 1992 and Carmi and Fairfield in 2003.
More information on the Black Diamond has been offered by Adam Rosoho:
The Black Diamond Conference was created first as a football-only conference in 1949. The original
schools were members of the Coal Belt Conference for other sports.
The original conference schools were Carterville, Christopher, Elkville,
Sesser, Zeigler, and Carbondale University High.
The first Black Diamond basketball race was in 1956 when the conference became full time.
Trico joined the Black Diamond in the 1968-69 season and won three consecutive BDC Basketball Titles. They left the
BDC after the 1970-71 season after failing to start a football program. In 1990, McLeansboro joined for football only. Cairo
and Eldorado joined for football only in 1992. During the years, McLeansboro (Hamilton Co.) and Eldorado were involved
in some conference races and not others. Eldorado was a member of Girls Basketball replacing Christopher when ZR and
Christopher became ZRC. They also participated in Track and Softball. I am not sure of baseball. Hamilton Co. was
a member for boys and girls Track and baseball, not sure of softball. Cairo only participated in Football.
In 2003, the conference re-aligned and expanded. Two divisions were created with the 5 remaining
original members in the West Division (Carterville, Christopher, Elverado, Sesser-Valier, and Zeigler-Royalton) being added
with former member Trico. The East was created with Johnston City, partial members Cairo, Eldorado and Hamilton Co.,
and Carmi/White Co. and Fairfield. After the reallignment, the BDC offered new championships in Golf, Cross Country,
and Wrestling, as well as Basketball, Football, Track, Baseball, Softball, and Volleyball.
From Adam Rosoho: At the conclusion of this past school year (2007-08) Cairo
was voted out of the conference. Vienna will join the BDC this fall in all sports except football, which they will join
in the fall of 2009 when Vienna has their first varsity football season."
Chester joins in 2010-11 school year and will be in the West Division.
By 1952 this conference had 8 schools playing football: Bradford, Elmwood, Galva, Kewanee Wethersfield, Princeville, Toulon, Walnut and Wyoming. In 1958 Dunlap moved over from the Illio conference and Manlius from the Little 8. In 1968 Galva left for the Little 6 and Buda Western joined from the Little 8. There was a major shakeup in 1976 with Buda Western,
Bradford, Manlius and Walnut leaving to form the Indian Valley and Kewanee Wethersfield and Toulon departing
for the Lincoln Trail. Cuba, Peoria Heights, Spoon River Valley and Tremont were added
as replacements. In 1982 another major shakeup as Cuba, Elmwood, Spoon River Valley
and Wyoming left to form the Prairieland Conference and Eureka was the only replacement leaving the circuit with just 5 football schools - Dunlap, Eureka, Peoria Heights, Princeville and Tremont. These
5 teams continued to play a round-robin schedule in football through the 1988 season although the IHSA didn't recognize the
conference because it had fewer than the minimum 6 teams for football.
The following extensive history of the Blackhawk Conference (west) was written by John Ballentine:
"A History of the Blackhawk Conference"
"Administrators and coaches from Bradford, Galva, Toulon, Wethersfield, and Wyoming met
and agreed, in 1933, to establish the Blackhawk Conference. Each affiliated school began competition with one another
in the fall of 1934. Bradford won the first ever Blackhawk championship that year in football. Wethersfield captured
the first Blackhawk basketball championship for the 1934-35 season. Toulon became the first track/field champion in 1936,
the second year of conference existence. The schools had decided too many other activities were scheduled in the spring
of 1935 to hold the first Blackhawk Conference track/field meet.
The 5 charter member schools
of the conference were joined by Geneseo for the 1940-41 school year. The Maple Leafs of Geneseo won the football championship
with a 5-0 record in 1940. They captured the basketball championship by posting a 10-0 record. Continuing their
winning streak, Geneseo took home the 1941 Blackhawk track/field trophy. They did not return for a second season in the Blackhawk.
In the fall of 1942, Walnut replaced Geneseo as the 6th team of the conference. After 1 year, Walnut broke off a string of
9 football championships in 11 years, beginning with the 1943 season. While Walnut ruled the Blackhawk on the gridiron,
Galva captured 6 basketball championships during those same years. Prior to these 2 runs, Toulon won 9 championships
in 3 sports with 7 of these in a row, between 1936 and 1939.
Wyoming captured their first ever
Blackhawk championship, in basketball, during the 1942-43 season. The Indians repeated as champions in basketball the
next year to interrupt Galva's run. Between 1943 and 1953, as Walnut and Galva celebrated their wins, the conference
welcomed 2 additional members.
Princeville's first year, as a Blackhawk member, occurred in 1946. Elmwood
signed on in 1951. They became the 7th and 8th members of the Blackhawk. The 9th and 10th members joined in 1958 with
the addition of Dunlap and Manlius. Baseball did not gain significance within the Blackhawk Conference until the mid-1950's. Unfortunately,
scant information is available for baseball. Although the list of years champions is complete, baseball seemingly has
always been the forgotten sibling of football, basketball, and track/field.
The Blackhawk Conference
first played baseball on a championship basis in the spring of 1956. It consisted of 2 divisions, north and south, with
4 teams in each. The divisional winners played one another in a single championship game. Toulon, the 1956 southern
division champ, went up against northern division champ Wethersfield. The teams played to a 10-10 tie the first game. Wethersfield
claimed the first ever Blackhawk Conference baseball championship with a 6-2 decision in the second game. Beginning in
1968, divisions were eliminated and the championship was determined on a best record basis.
as with football, was now set up with each school playing all other schools in the conference. Although 10 teams were
in the conference, various championship teams had 6-1 or 7-0 records in baseball. Why? Only 8 schools sponsored
baseball. Toulon-LaFayette (1970-71 consolidation) discontinued baseball after the spring of 1975 and 20 Blackhawk seasons. It
still hadn't gained complete and unanimous acceptance throughout the conference.
and 1976, there were 12 members, but never more than 10 at any one time. A review of who won championships during this
period reveals some interesting facts. For example, every conference member won at least 1 basketball championship.
The only track/field co-champions occurred in 1973, with Toulon-LaFayette and Wethersfield sharing the honors. All other
years produced a single track champion.
Those schools accumulating the most championships while
Blackhawk members were Walnut with 12 in football and 10 in baseball, Princeville and Galva with 12 apiece in
basketball, and Toulon/Toulon-LaFayette winning 13 in track and field.
Besides Geneseo, the other
pre-1976 members were known as the Bradford Panthers, Dunlap Eagles, Elmwood Trojans (right face), Galva Wildcats, Manlius
Red Devils, Princeville Princes, Toulon Trojans (left face), Walnut Blue Raiders, Western Rams, Wethersfield Flying Geese,
and the Wyoming Indians. These teams were a source of pride for their communities. It was icing on the cake if your team
brought home a trophy at the end of the season. It was particularly satisfying if it said Blackhawk Champion.
After the 1967-68 school year, Galva resigned its' charter membership. This signaled the beginning of the end for the
conference. When other members followed with their own change of venue in the mid-1970's, the Blackhawk started
its trek down a path of nonexistence. Times were changing due to financial hardships and school consolidations began to form
creating larger student enrollments.
The Blackhawk, a 10-team conference, watched Galva leave
in the spring of 1968. Western, a consolidation of Buda, Sheffield, and Wyanet, stepped in as the 10th member for the
1968-69 school year. Western's historical mark in the Blackhawk is noted by capturing the 1975-76 championship in basketball
and track/field. This was the final year the Blackhawk existed with its' original members.
In 1972, 5 schools petitioned for admittance to the Blackhawk. The Annawan Braves, Atkinson Tigers, LaMoille Lions, Tampico
Trojans, and Tiskilwa Indians were rejected as new members. The spring of 1976 marked the last time Bradford, Manlius,
Toulon-LaFayette, Walnut, Western, and Wethersfield competed in the Blackhawk. Galva, Toulon-LaFayette, and Wethersfield
joined the fledgling Lincoln Trail Conference for the fall of 1976. Bradford, Manlius, Walnut, and Western were now members
of the Indian Valley Conference. Geneseo was a member of the North Central Conference.
fall of 1976 was the start of a realigned Blackhawk Conference. Now, with only 8 members, the conference included existing
members Dunlap, Elmwood, Princeville, and Wyoming. The 4 new schools were the Cuba Cardinals, Peoria Heights Patriots,
Tremont Turks, and (Spoon River) Valley Vikings (Ellisville, Fairview, London Mills, Maquon consolidation). The 8 team
conference existed for 6 years when change once more occurred.
Cuba, Elmwood, and Valley departed
the Blackhawk after the 1981-82 school year. These 3 schools became part of the Prairieland Conference. Wyoming, the
last charter member from 1934, also left at the end of the 1981-82 school year. After forty-eight years, and being the
longest standing member of the Blackhawk, Wyoming joined the east division of the Indian Valley Conference. Five new
members were recruited to join the Blackhawk, but only 2 accepted an invitation. Six teams comprised the Blackhawk for
the start of the 1982-83 school year. Dunlap and Princeville remained in the conference along with Peoria Heights and
Tremont. The 2 new members were the Eureka Hornets and Forman Braves (Forest City, Manito, Topeka consolidation).
In 1982, the Peoria Journal Star began covering the Blackhawk while other local newspaper coverage had all but ceased. This
was due to the conference's continued geographical migration to the southeast from its' original landmark. The Kewanee
Star Courier newspaper discontinued issuing the "Blackhawk Conference Traveling Trophy." It was established for the Blackhawk
teams because they were all local area schools. The only conference the Star Courier awarded a trophy was the
Blackhawk. The award was for best overall sports performance during the school year. Prior to the 1933 formation
of the Blackhawk Conference, The Stark County News and the Galva News newspapers had a similar trophy award
system between the schools of Toulon and Galva. The "NEWS" football trophy was first awarded in 1928.
Memorabilia of the Blackhawk is disappearing. Toulon, Wethersfield, and Wyoming no longer have their Blackhawk championship
trophies. Princeville's are boxed up and stored in a shed. It is assumed that other schools of the Blackhawk have
acted similarly. Hopefully, local history and memories of the conference will be preserved and somehow not be erased entirely.
The conference that began in 1934 amid the Great Depression was active during World War II and the Korean, Vietnam, and
Gulf Wars. Ten U. S. Presidents from Roosevelt to Bush Sr. held terms of office during the Blackhawk's existence. The
fifty-six year old conference of 'home teams' did not survive the continual membership changes and school consolidations. The
Blackhawk tradition ended after the spring of 1990 when the Blackhawk was disbanded and became a part of history."
Formed in 1947, its charter members were Lanark
, Mt. Carroll
, Mt. Morris
, Oregon and Polo. In 1954 Milledgeville started its football program and joined the league. In 1959 Erie and Prophetstown
were added and in 1965 Milledgeville moved to the Route 72 conference and Amboy took their place. Lanark moved to the
smaller Northwest conference in 1966 and league continued with 7 football teams until its final season in 1971.
IL high played for many years in the 50's and 60's in yet another conference known as the Blackhawk. They were
the only Illinois school in this league which featured several schools in SW Wisconsin.
reminded us of a great conference located in Bureau County for the smaller schools of the
area. The Bureau Valley Conference (BVC) existed through the 1970s and early 1980s for certain, though we currently do not
have the exact start and finish dates. The conference was a great basketball conference and may have also participated in
a conference track meet. Members of this conference included LaMoille
, and Ohio
. Other members may have included DePue
. We believe the conference disbanded as the consolidation efforts of the mid-1990s in the area closed most of these schools.
The league's members in 1983 were Breese Central, Columbia, Dupo, Freeburg, Red Bud and Waterloo. Carlyle
joined in 1988 and Waterloo left in 1997. Trenton-Wesclin is the league's newest football playing member joining in 2003. This
school year (2006-07) the Cahokia has become a 12-team conference with the addition of Steeleville and Valmeyer. The
circuit is split into a large and small school format. The large schools (6 of them) all play football. They play in the Mississippi
Division. The smaller schools, play in the Kaskaskia division. Dupo is the only member of the Kaskaskia Division that plays
Mississippi Division of 2007 included: Breese Central, Carlyle, Columbia, Freeburg, Red Bud, Trenton-Wesclin
Kaskaskia Division: Dupo, Lebanon, Marissa, New Athens, Steeleville, Valmeyer
B.M. Pieper tells us the Cahokia was in operation prior to 1983 as well. Some of the early
members included Waterloo, Columbia, Red Bud, Breese Central, Mascoutah, Lebanon, Freeburg, possibly O'Fallon, and one other
team (there were 8 total).
The Capitol conference was formed in 1964 with Decatur Eisenhower, Decatur Macarthur, Jacksonville, Springfield Griffin
and Springfield Lanphier. In 1967 Springfield SE joined and in 1968 Champaign Centennial participated fully in football
for the first time. The addition of Normal Community made this an 8-team loop in 1971 and the league's final football
season was 1982.
Catholic League (St Louis Metro)
Alton Marquette and Belleville Cathedral
participated in this league with Missouri catholic schools until 1963.
This conference name was derived from the first two letters of Central and the last four letters of Illinois. In waged
football battles from 1963 through 1969 and consisted of four schools - Argenta-Oreana, Decatur Lakeview
, Mt Zion and Warrensburg-Latham.
This league was described in a 1956 article in the Springfield State Journal Register as a "...very loose, uncoordinated
organization..." It featured at various times in the 1950's Beardstown, Carlinville, Clinton, Decatur Lakeview
, Decatur St Teresa, Jacksonville, Springfield Cathedral
, Springfield Feitshans
and Springfield Lanphier. The teams never played a complete round robin schedule in football and some participated
concurrently in other conferences. 1958 appears to have been the last "official" season for football in the conference
but little data has been found regarding it in the regions newspapers.
This conference was alive and well in the 1930s, at least for football it was. In 1934, DuQuoin and Zeigler
fought for the title in a season-ending title match (DuQuoin won 6 - 0). Adam Rosoho
tells us that
this conference also included Elkville
and Johnson City. Participants in the conference are listed below as researched by Adam.
1929-30: Elkville, DuQuoin, Sparta, Carbondale University, Sesser, Zeigler, Pinckneyville
1938-39: Christopher, Elkville, Sparta, Zeigler, Pinckneyville, DuQuoin.
1939-40: Christopher, Elkville,
Sparta, Zeigler, Johnston City, Carterville
From Erick Bristow (Divernon
HS): "The conference included Divernon, Herrick, Witt and Tower Hill as well as Mt Auburn if I recall
correctly. If you look back at those schools I imagine it was probably the
greatest collection of “crackerbox” gyms in Illinois history."
Central State 8/9
Formed in 1993 its charter members were Chatham Glenwood, Jacksonville, Lincoln, Springfield, Springfield SH-Griffin
, Springfield Lanphier, Springfield SE and Taylorville. Rochester joined the league in 2010.
Formed in 1965 its charter members were Deerfield, Glenbrook North, Glenbrook South, Maine South, Niles North and
Niles West. Maine West joined in 1967 along with new school New Trier West
. New school Maine North
was added in 1971. In 1972, Highland Park and Skokie Niles East
came over from the Suburban League and Maine East from the West Suburban as the league divided into two divisions with a
championship game at season's end in 1972 and 1973. Maine North left in 1974 and in 1975 Evanston, New Trier
, Waukegan East
joined the loop. Niles North left in 1979. Niles East closed in 1980. The two New Trier schools consolidated
in 1981 as did the Waukegan schools in 1990. Niles North rejoined the league in 1991.
According to the Belleville St. Henry's "Gleeman", 1967-68 was St. Henry's first year in
the Chartres Conference. Partial list of schools: Belleville (St. Henry's), Coulterville, East St. Louis (Assumption), Waterloo (Gibault). We know they played baseball in the spring.
advises The Chartes Conference - which won 5
Regionals in 1972 included:
St Henry's Prep Eagles
New Athens Yellowjackets
Coulterville Golden Eagles (Who had an all-stater by the name of Green
Red Bud until it moved to the Cahokia in 1972.
Chicago Catholic League
(from Robert Pruter) Catholic secondary schools had been competiting in the Chicago area since the 1870's in baseball
and since the 1890's in a variery of sports. Competition was limited against public schools, because most of the
institutions were organized along European lines, as six-year colleges that encompassed the last two years of high school
and four years of undergraduate college work. Gradually, the Catholic schools reorganized by the American system, and
some emerged as colleges and others, such as St. Ignatius, St. Stanislaus
, De la Salle, and St. Cyril
merged as high schools. The preeminent league in the Chicago area was the Cook County League, and one school did
participate, St. Philip
, during the 1911-12 school year.
The following fall, the Catholic League was formed with St. Ignatius, St. Stanislaus, De la Salle, St. Cyril, DePaul Academy
, St. Philip, St. Rita, and Cathedral laying the groundwork. The league required its members to field teams in
basketball and baseball, while indoor baseball was voluntary. The following fall, football was added as Loyola, Holy Trinity,
and St. Patrick had joined the league as Cathedral left as the league attempted to complete its first full school year.
Track & field was added as a minor sport in 1917, while tennis, golf, and swimmng were added in 1924. By then,
the Catholic League was a full-fledge equal to the Public and Suburban Leagues. The Catholic League also offered four
levels of basketball, beginning with heavyweight, lightweight, flyweight, and bantamweight. The last two levels were
eliminated in 1926, while the lightweight level was replaced by junior level (for those players 5'9" and under) in 1938, and
it helped develop a strong rivalry with the Public League by virtue of the annual city championships that were contested
thru 1973 when the league joined the IHSA.
Outside of Cathedral's departure in 1913, other schools came into the Catholic League. St. Mel joined the ranks
in 1918 (which is when Cathedral changed its name to Quigley Prep
), Joliet De la Salle
was accepted in 1920, Chicago
Leo was admitted in 1926, Evanston St. George in 1927, and Oak Park Fenwick in 1929. St. Cyril changed its name to Mt. Carmel in 1924, while St. Stanislaus
became Weber in 1930.
(from Tom Sikorski) Football History since 1945: the football playing members in 1945 were De La Salle, DePaul, Fenwick,
Holy Trinity, Joliet Catholic, Leo, Loyola, Mt Carmel, St. George, St. Ignatius, St. Mel, St. Patrick, St. Philip, St.
Rita and Weber. St. Elizabeth
fielded a team starting in 1946. Joliet Catholic dropped out in 1948. St. Patrick had no varsity football
in 1952 or 1953 but was back in 1954. Gordon Tech was added in 1953, Mendel
in 1954 and Brother Rice in 1958 as the league reached its peak of 18 teams in three divisions.
In 1961, De La Salle, St. George, St. Mel, and St. Patrick left and St. Elizabeth dropped football as the league was
down to 13 teams and realigned into two divisions. St. Laurence joined in 1963, which is the same year St. Ignatius
dropped football. In 1966, De Paul and Holy Trinity dropped football and Hales Franciscan was added. In 1970,
St. Philip dropped football and De La Salle rejoined the league.
When Hales dropped football in 1971, the league went down to 11 teams and temporarily abandoned the two-division
format. St. Francis De Sales joined in 1976, but the league did not restore the two-division format until 1979. In
1988, a consolidation changed Mendel to St. Martin De Porres
and this school dropped football in 1992. Kankakee McNamara joined in 1993.
From 1996 to 2002, the league's schools competed in football under the Catholic Metro banner. The Chicago Catholic
League was revived in 2003 with all of the previous members except St. Francis De Sales (independent) and Weber (closed) plus
the addition of Hales, Holy Cross
and Providence. In 2004 Holy Cross
changed its name to Guerin Prep and in 2005, St. Ignatius revived its football program.
Chicago Catholic Girls' High School Basketball League
From Robert Pruter: The league formed in 1928 with Academy of Our Lady (Longwood), Alvernia, Aquinas, Loretto High, Loretto Academy, St. Catherine (Siena), St. Mary,
St. Scholastica, St. Xavier, Visitation, Evanston Marywood, and Wilmette Mallinckrodt
. Only one conference title was awarded as St. Catherine won the 1928-29 title. The league broke up in 1932 with
the formation of the Catholic Youth Organization's girls basketball league.
Chicago Catholic Parish League
From Tyrone A. Brown (Corpus Christi Class of 1962):
Formed in 1961 when De La Salle, St. George, St. Mel
, and St. Patrick broke off from the Chicago Catholic league. The original 4 were joined by Holy Cross
and St Viator in 1963. In 1966 Holy Cross left and Marian Catholic joined. St. Mel dropped football in 1967 and in 1968
Marist and St Joseph joined. St. George dropped football in 1969 and St Francis De Sales joined that same year, which
also was the last for the league.
Christian-Montgomery -Sangamon (CMS)
Paul Wiegert submitted this information on a conference that had members from three different
counties and was so named. Members of this conference in the 1950s/1960s included Farmersville, Morrisonville, Raymond, Glenwood, Edinburg, and Mt. Auburn. Basketball was definitely played, including regular season and tournament champions crowned each year.
Football ended in 1949 when Carterville, Christopher, Elkville,
Sesser, and Zeigler formed the Black Diamond.
The Coal Belt Conference completely ended in 1956 when basketball
was added by the BDC full time.
From long-time Coal City and Gardner South Wilmington announcer
"I am not sure when this conference began however it lasted
until the early 80's when the remaining schools with football formed the Interstate 8 (Coal City, Braidwood - Reed Custer,
Wilmington, Dwight, Plano, Yorkville, Marseilles, Seneca were the original I-8 schools). CVC, when it disbanded consisted of the following: Coal City, Gardner - South
Wilmington, Wilmington, Braidwood - Reed Custer, O'Dell, Mazon - Verona - Kinsman. Reddick (RUCE) may have also been a member at one time, as were Minooka, and Morris.
Dwight was a member of the CVC when it folded in the 80's. Other past members
included Odell - St. Paul, Odell (public) High School, Tri-Point (Cullom -
Tri-Point), Saunemin, and Morris."
Cook County League
(from Robert Pruter) The Cook County League began in 1889 with Englewood
, Hyde Park, Oak Park, North Division
, Lake View, Austin, Evanston, English High & Manual Training
, South Division
, West Division
, Manual Training
, and Harvard
as charter members in football. Harvard left after the first year, replaced by LaGrange, and Northwest Division
joined in 1892. Jefferson
and Winnetka (later called New Trier) came in 1896. Winnetka left after that school year, while in 1898, South Chicago
, Marshall, and Medill
all came onboard.
entered the league wars in 1900, then North Division changed its name to Waller in 1901. West Division
became known as McKinley in 1904, which was also when University High School joined the league to replace Manual Training
. Harvey (known as Thornton) also joined that year. In 1905, English became Crane, while South Division
was renamed Phillips, and Curtis
became a new member. Then in 1906, both Hoyne
and Chicago Heights (later called Bloom) joined the league and Northwest Division was renamed Tuley. Evanston
left the league in 1907 over a basketball dispute, and Chicago Heights left. Hoyne left in 1908, Lane Tech joined in 1909,
while South Chicago changed its name to Bowen in 1910.
and Farragut (later renamed Parker in 1913) came to the league in 1911, as Schurz became the new name for
Jefferson in 1912. St. Philip
was admitted in 1912, as was Clyde (aka Cicero Morton). 1913 saw the end of the league, which had 24 members
at the time, and reformed itself as the Chicago Public Athletic League (aka Chicago Public League).
Corn Belt (Central)
In 1950, this loop featured Bloomington Trinity, Clinton, Normal Community, Normal U-High and Pontiac. Washington joined in 1957. Bloomington Trinity
changed their name to Bloomington Central Catholic in 1967. Decatur St. Teresa participated in football from 1967 through
1969. In 1971, Normal Community left for the Capitol Conference. From 1972 through 1977, this league did
not exist for football, as its members participated in the Heart of Illinois Conference instead. The Corn Belt name was
resurrected in 1978 with Bloomington Central Catholic, Clinton, Eureka, Metamora, Normal U-High, Pontiac and Stanford
Olympia. In 1982 Eureka and Metamora left and Peru St. Bede joined. In 1986 Mahomet-Seymour
joined. In 1990 Clinton left and Prairie Central replaced them. Peru St. Bede left in 1996 and in 2002 Herscher and Rochester
joined and in 2004 Eureka rejoined along with new member Rantoul. Herscher left the loop for the 2006 season, and
Rochester left to join the Central State Eight Conference in 2010.
Corn Belt (West)
By 1952 the football playing members of this league were Atkinson
, Cambridge, Orion, Sherrard, Viola-Winola
, Williamsfield and Woodhull-Alwood. Reynolds
joined in 1953. In 1955 Williamsfield dropped football and Joy
was added. In 1957 consolidations
to Taylor Ridge-Rockridge. In 1960 Joy
consolidated with New Boston
forming Joy-Westmer. 1975 was the loop's final football season.
Des Plaines Valley
Formed in 1963. its charter members were East and West Leyden, Morton West
, Niles West, Proviso West and Willowbrook. In 1964, Palatine and new school Maine South were in the league for
this one season only. In 1965, Niles West was also moved out and Glenbard East joined as well as new school Downers Grove
South. Proviso West left in 1966 and new schools Addison Trail and Hinsdale South were added. Morton East
was added in 1975. West Leyden left in 1979 but returned in 1981 when they consolidated with East Leyden. Riverside-Brookfield
joined in 1982 and Glenbard East left in 1983. In 1985 Riverside-Brookfield left and Morton East and West consolidated
down to 6 teams, which was the loop's last season.
DuPage County League (1913-17, 1919-23)
(from Robert Pruter) The DuPage County League was in the mode of many early Illinois high school conferences, in that it was organized for all the schools in a particular county. It was formed in 1913, but some of the schools
had been competiting against each other informally for several years earlier. The league seemed to have been disbanded for the better part of two seasons, 1917-18 and 1918-19. The DuPage County League came back together again for the 1919-20
season. But in 1922, Wheaton and Naperville left the league to join the newly formed Little Seven Conference, formed by the smaller
schools in the Fox River valley,
notably Geneva and St. Charles. The DuPage County conference with only five schools existed for little more than a year after that and then disbanded. The remaining schools
reorganized in the winter of 1924 as the West Suburban Conference. Member schools included Wheaton, Naperville, and West Chicago (all charter members), as well as Elmhurst York, Downers Grove, Glen Ellyn, and Hinsdale.
Du Page Valley
Formed in 1975 its charter members were Glenbard North, Glenbard South, Naperville Central, Naperville North, West
Chicago and Wheaton Central
, Wheaton North and Wheaton-Warrenville
. Wheaton-Warrenville closed in 1982 and Glenbard East replaced them. In 1992, Wheaton Central officially became
Wheaton Warrenville South. Glenbard South left in 1996 and was replaced by West Aurora in 1997.
Played its first football in 1955 and the charter members were Broadlands ABL, Catlin, Homer, Rossville-Alvin, Ridge Farm, St. Joseph and Sidell-Jamaica. Young America fielded a team in the league for the 1958 season only. In 1962 Bismark added football. St. Joseph and Ogden consolidated in 1963, and Bismarck and Henning came together in 1964. In 1971 Homer and St Joseph-Ogden left the league. In 1978 Ridge
Farm played its last season in the loop. In 1981 Broadlands ABL left and in 1982 Gilman and Milford joined. In 1983 Gilman and Onarga consolidated to form Iroquois West. In 1984 Sidell-Jamaica left and this was the loop's final season.
The East Okaw was formed in 1981 by 6 East Central Illinois schools who felt they were too small to compete effectively
in football in their old conferences. Broadlands ABL
jumped from the East Central conference, DeLand-Weldon from the Sangamon Valley, Homer, Newman
and Oakland from the Little Okaw Valley and Ridge Farm
was an independent. In 1985 Rossville-Alvin
was added after DeLand-Weldon dropped football and the league lost Ridge Farm
in 1986 when
it consolidated with Georgetown
. In 1987 Homer
dropped football and Milford was added. In 1989 Newman
co-oping with Hume Shiloh. This same year Broadlands ABL
consolidated with a neighboring district and
went by Broadlands Heritage. Martinsville joined in 1991 and Palestine in 1992. Sidell-Jamaica dropped out in 1995,
the league's final season.
East Suburban Catholic
Formed in 1974 by the members of the Suburban Catholic East division, the charter members were Carmel, Holy Cross
, Marist, Notre Dame, St. Francis De Sales, St. Joseph, St. Patrick and St. Viator. St. Joseph played an independent
schedule in 1975 only and was brought back into the fold the following year when St. Francis De Sales left. Joliet
Catholic was added in 1982 and Benet and Marian Catholic in 1990. From 1996 to 2002, the league's teams competed in football
under the Catholic Metro banner. Competition in football under the East Suburban Catholic name was restored in 2003 with all
of the same schools except Holy Cross (which moved to the Chicago Catholic League) and Nazareth, which became the
league's newest member.
By 1952 this league consisted of Casey, Charleston, Charleston University High
, Effingham, Marshall, Martinsville, Newton, Oblong, Palestine, Paris, Robinson and St. Elmo. Charleston University
High dropped football in 1955. In 1960 both Effingham and St Elmo dropped out. Martinsville played an independent
schedule in football in 1962 and 1963. In 1964 the league added Toledo-Cumberland and reorganized into two divisions
- Large School division consisted of Charleston, Marshall, Newton, Paris and Robinson. The Small School division consisted
of Casey, Martinsville, Oblong, Palestine and Toledo-Cumberland. The final football season for the loop was 1969.
This non-football conference, which offers baseball, boys and girls basketball, softball
and girls volleyball, consists of the following schools:
Mulberry Grove, Brownstown, Ramsey, Beecher City, Patoka, Odin, St. Elmo, Cowden-Herrick.
Centralia (Christ Our Rock Lutheran) joined the conference in the 2009-10 school year.
Other schools in the past that were associated with this conference include Witt
and Mt. Olive.
Four Rivers (2000-2006)
This conference formed in 2000 with Ashton
and Franklin Center's
co-oped programs, Pecatonica, Durand, South Beloit, Poplar Grove North Boone and Kirkland Hiawatha. These teams
had been in the Northwest Upstate Illini Conference. Ashton
and Franklin Center
in 2004. The conference ceased in 2006 with North Boone joining the Big Northern to effectively disband the
Four Rivers. The remaining teams rejoined the NUIC, while Hiawatha went to the Little 10.
The Four Rivers were the Rock, Pecatonica, Kishwaukee and Sugar rivers.
Fox Valley (old)
Earlville, Orland Park, Oswego, Plainfield, Plano, Sandwich and Yorkville were football members by 1952. Orland
Park left in 1953. Marseilles
joined the football frays in 1954 but left in 1960 along with Earlville. Lisle was the only replacement that season. In
1963, Oswego left for the Little 7 and Lemont took their place. Plainfield followed suit leaving for the Little 7 in 1965
and Marseilles rejoined that same year. 1965 also proved to be the league's last with the majority of the schools forming a
new Northeast conference in 1966.
Fox Valley (present day)
, Crystal Lake Central, Crystal Lake South, Dundee
, Jacobs, McHenry and Woodstock were the charter members in this rapidly growing region in 1978. Dundee and
Crown consolidated in 1983 and Lake Zurich joined in 1991. Prairie Ridge opened in 1997 and Grayslake also joined the
loop that same year. Huntley was added in 2003 and Lake Zurich left in 2005.
This short lived conference existed from 1979 to 1983. The charter members were Belleville Althoff, Cahokia, Edwardsville,
Granite City North
and Granite City South
. The Granite City schools consolidated in 1983.
From Adam Rosoho:
A southern Illinois conference. I am not sure of
the beginnings of this league. Members include:
Carrier Mills (C.M.-Stonefort), Elizabethtown (Hardin County), Galatia,Golconda (Pope County), Junction (Gallatin County),
Marion (Crab Orchard), Norris City (N.C.-Omaha-Enfield), Thompsonville
NCOE and Thompsonville left the Mid-South conference and joined the GEC at the beginning
of the 2007-2008 school year. Norris City was a member in the confernce and left to join the Mid-South. (Not sure
of the year they left) Not sure of any other schools in the conference except for schools that have consolidated into
Schools offer Boys Basketball, baseball, some offer girls basketball, volleyball, softball,
track, and cross country.
This short lived conference was formed in 1983 and featured Chatham Glenwood, Jacksonville, Macomb and Quincy Notre Dame
plus Hannibal, MO High. Hannibal dropped out in 1986, the league's last football season.
Featured East Peoria, Pekin, Peoria Central, Peoria Manual, Peoria Spalding
and Peoria Woodruff. Bartonville Limestone joined in 1955 and the loop's last for football was 1957.
This short lived conference offered football from 1978 to 1982 and featured Canton, Chiilicothe IVC, Macomb and Morton.
Heart of Illinois (1972 to 1977)
Formed in 1972 it featured two divisions for football with a championship game at seasons end between the two division
winners. The East division featured Bloomington Central Catholic, Clinton, Normal U-High, Pontiac and Stanford Olympia
and the West division featured Canton, Chillicothe IVC, Metamora. Morton and Washington. The division format and
championship game was dropped in 1974 with the start of the state playoffs. 1977 was the loop's last season.
More of an association than a league for football, this organization featured Bartonville Limestone, Canton,
East Peoria, Galesburg, Kewanee, Pekin, Peoria Richwoods, and Peoria Woodruff at various times in the 1950's and 1960's. The
league's members never played a complete round robin schedule in football and most played concurrently in other conferences. The
final season for football in the Illini was 1971.
Formed in 1985 by Bismark-Henning, Catlin
, Danville Schlarman, Fithian-Oakwood, Georgetown,
St Joseph-Ogden, Tolono Unity and Westville. Georgetown consolidated with Ridge Farm
in 1986 and in 1995, Catlin and Sidell-Jamaica began the Salt Fork coop. 1998 was the final football season for the loop.
Illinois Valley (North Central)
This conference existed for football from 1970 through 1972 at least although its teams never played a complete
round robin schedule and many schools also competed in the neighboring NCIC conference. The Illinois Valley teams in
1970 were La Salle-Peru, Mendota, Morris, Ottawa, Ottawa Marquette, Peru St Bede, Spring Valley Hall and Streator. Hall
and La Salle-Peru were not counted in the standings for 1971 and 1972. Information about this conference is sparse possibly
due to its informal nature (at least for football) and it may indeed have existed prior to 1970. It is believed the conference,
informal or not, was disbanded when Morris joined the Little 7 in 1973.
The Illinois Valley Conference remains as an informal conference in other sports.
Illinois Valley (South Central)
In 1928, member schools were Carrollton, Jerseyville, Pittsfield, Pleasant Hill, Roodhouse
and White Hall
. Greenfield joined in 1929 and Winchester in 1930. Winchester left in 1932 and was replaced by Jacksonville, who left
when Winchester rejoined in 1939. In 1956 Jerseyville and Pittsfield left and Hardin and Virginia took their place. In
1961 Virginia left and Piasa SW took their place. In 1963 Roodhouse and White Hall consolidated forming White Hall North
Green and the loop was reduced to 7 teams. Pleasant Hill left in 1968 and Piasa SW in 1970 leaving the league with 5
football playing schools. 1973 was the last year under the Illinois Valley banner.
In 1952 this league featured Chillicothe, Dunlap, Eureka, Farmington, Metamora, Morton, Tremont and Washington. Washington
left in 1956 and Dunlap did also in 1958. Monmouth joined in 1968 and in 1971 major upheaval with Chillicothe IVC, Metamora
and Morton leaving and only Peoria Heights being added as a replacement. The league continued with just 5 teams until its
final season in 1975.
In 1952 this league featured Fulton, Morrison, Savanna
and Sterling Community Catholic in Illinois and Bettendorf, Clinton Lyons, Clinton St. Mary and De Witt
Central in Iowa. Clinton Lyons closed in 1954 and Amboy replaced them. Community Catholic became Newman Central
Catholic in 1958. By 1960 Bettendorf had outgrown the league and left with Port Byron Riverdale taking their place.
Amboy left in 1965 and was replaced by Eldridge (IA) North Scott. The league's final football season was 1974.
Independent School League
Football history: Played its first football in 1966 when Chicago Latin, Elgin Academy, Francis W. Parker,
, Morgan Park Academy and North Shore County Day broke off from the Private School League. Lake Forest Academy
was added in 1968. Angel Guardian
fielded a team in the league for just the 1969 season. In 1972, Francis W. Parker dropped football
after just one game and Elgin Academy did also at season's end. Wheaton Academy fielded a team in the league for just
the 1972 season. Chicago Latin dropped football in 1974. 1978 proved to be the last football season under the ISL
banner when Glenwood School and Morgan Park Academy dropped football after that season.
Indian Valley Conference (1976 to 1994)
The Indian Valley's charter members were Annawan, De Pue, La Moille, Tampico
from the Little 8 plus Bradford, Buda Western, Manlius
from the Blackhawk plus Atkinson
from the Corn Belt (West). For some reason Ohio and Wyanet
played independent football schedules in 1976 and 1977 and did not fully joined the league until 1978. In
1979 the league divided into two divisions:
The East Division consisted of: De Pue, La Moille, Ohio, Tiskilwa, Walnut and Wyanet
The West Division included: Annawan, Atkinson, Bradford, Buda Western, Manlius
In 1981 Ohio dropped football and Wyoming
was added to the East division for the 1982 season. In 1988
dropped football and in 1989 the co-ops started reducing the Indian Valley to a 6-team league as
follows: Bradford-Tiskilwa coop, Manlius-Tampico coop, Walnut-La Moille coop, Buda Western-Wyanet coop, plus Annawan
which did not co-op. In 1990 Wyoming
and Princeville co-opted and in 1991
Peoria Heights joined the league. In 1992 the Wyoming-Princeville coop was dissolved with Princeville remaining in the
Indian Valley and Wyoming
consolidating with Toulon
to form Stark County which played in the Lincoln Trail (Toulon's conference). 1994 was the last football
season for the Indian Valley.
Inter-County Athletic Conference (ICAC) 1952 - 1987.
Formed around 1952 with these 5 original members:
Brimfield, Glasford, LaFayette, Williamsfield, and Yates City. Its name represented the three different counties the original members were located (Knox, Peoria, Stark). This
roster stayed the same until 1968, when then-Blackhawk Conference members Elmwood and Toulon joined the loop. LaFayette consolidated
with Toulon in 1970, and about that same time Glasford High was renamed Glasford (Illini Bluffs). Toulon left both the
Blackhawk and ICAC in 1976 to help form the Lincoln Trail. Yates City consolidated with Farmington in 1987, leaving the
league with 4 teams (Brimfield, Elmwood, Illini Bluffs, and Williamsfield) until 1989, when the league reached Fulton County
with the addition of London Mills (Spoon River Valley). In 1997, the league added Delavan in Tazewell County, and in 2002,
Valley and Cuba (which had co-oped in football in the Prairieland Conference since 1999 as the North Fulton Wildcats) began
the North Fulton coop in all their sports while participating in both the Prairieland and ICAC (and even the Bi-County in
that league's final years--rare for a school to be part of 3 conferences). In 2007-08 Brimfield will be adding the Prairieland
Conference to their plate in addtion to the ICAC.
Formed in 1959, as its name suggests, this conference was a temporary set up for mostly new schools until
enough of them were opened to form complete new leagues. Existing schools Glenbrook, East Leyden and Wheaton were
joined by new schools Prospect, Proviso West and Willowbrook that first year. The next season 1960 was Maine West's
first. In 1961 West Leyden played its first full varsity slate as did Deerfield, Glenbard East, Morton West and Niles
West. 1962 was the last season for the Interim.
Some of the teams in the 1970s and 1980s for this baseball, basketball, and track conference included: Armstrong,
Potomac, Rossville-Alvin, Buckley-Loda, Cissna Park, Crescent City, Milford, Donovan, Sheldon, and Rankin
Kane County (?-1917)
(from Robert Pruter) Made up of Batavia, Dundee, Geneva, and St. Charles…broke up in 1917 when they joined Wheaton, Naperville,
and West Chicago from the DuPage County League to form
the Bi-County League.
In 1950 the Kankakee Valley football conference consisted of Bradley, Crete, Kankakee St. Patrick, Momence and St. Anne. In 1951 Clifton Central and
Gilman joined. From 1954 through 1959 the Kankakee Valley name was not used for
this league - see Wil-Ro-Kee and Kan-Wil conferences. In 1960 the Kankakee Valley name was resurrected
with two football divisions. The North consisted of Clifton Central, Crete-Monee, Kankakee St. Patrick, Momence, St Anne and Wilmington. The South consisted of Clifton
Central, Gilman, Herscher, Momence and St. Anne. No misprint - for unknown reasons 3 schools were in both divisions.
This set up lasted only 2 seasons when in 1962 Crete-Monee left for the SE Suburban and Gilman
for the Vermillion Valley. The remaining 6 schools folded into one division. In 1964 Kankakee
St. Patrick changed its name to Bishop McNamara. In 1966 Wilmington left for the newly forming Northeast conference
and the league continued with 5 teams until 1972 when Peotone fielded its first football team. In 1978 St. Anne dropped
the sport and the league searched in vain for a replacement. Ottawa Marquette was invited to join but declined and the
league played its last season in 1979
The Kan-Wil football conference existed only 3 seasons 1957 to 1959. Momence and St Anne played
in both this league and the Wil-Ro-Kee all 3 seasons. Herscher was just in the Kan-Wil these 3 years
and Gilman just in the Kan-Wil in 1958 and 1959.
La Moine Valley
In 1952 for football the league consisted of Hamilton, Industry, La Harpe, Macomb Western, Sciota NW and Warsaw. In 1953 Industry left and Mendon Unity was added. In 1959 both La
Harpe and Sciota NW left and Carthage joined the league now a 5 team circuit. La Harpe
rejoined in 1962 and in 1964 Mendon Unity left. 1967 was the league's final football season.
From Rick Shertz (San Jose HS Class of 1988):
Formed in 1976 with Cambridge, Viola Winola and Woodhull-Alwood coming over from the Corn Belt; Alexis, Galva and Oneida ROVA coming over from the Little 6 and Kewanee Wethersfield and Toulon from the Blackhawk. Wethersfield played an independent schedule that first season and its first full
conference slate wasn't until 1977. In 1988 Viola Winola closed and Joy Westmer replaced them in 1989. In 1992 Toulon consolidated with Wyoming and became known as Stark County. Alexis left briefly in 1993 and Annawan and Princeville
joined in 1995. In 1998 Alexis was back in along with newcomers Biggsville Union and Monmouth Warren. The league divided into two divisions with Cambridge, Galva, Wethersfield, ROWVA, Princeville and Stark
County in the East and Alexis, Annawan, Biggsville, Westmer, Warren
and Alwood in the West. In 2004 Alexis and Monmouth Warren consolidated forming
Alexis United and Biggsville Union left the loop to coop with Stronghurst Southern and the division set up was dropped. In 2005 Oneida ROWVA and Woodhull-Alwood co-oped in football and Biggsville Union rejoined under the name of West Central having consolidated with Stronghurst Southern. Football was not a conference sport from 2006-2009. In 2009, the Lincoln Trail reformed as a football
conference with the following teams: Annawan/Wethersfield co-op, Cambridge/AlWood co-op, Galva/Williamsfield co-op, Mercer
County, Stark County, Princeville, Sciota West Prairie, West Central, and the River Valley co-op (Henry, Low Point-Washburn,
Midland) which is not a member for other sports.
A small school basketball and track conference in the southern portion of Illinois. Members from 1967-70 included
Ashley High School
, Tamaroa High School
, Dahlgren High School
, Bluford (Webber Twnshp), Woodlawn High School, Waltonville High School, Thompsonville High School
and Crab Orchard High School
Little Five (central Illinois - 1920s to ?)
Little 5 Conference (circa 1927): Brimfield, Elmwood, Farmington, Trivoli
, Yates City
. Basketball was a sport here for sure.
Little Five (northern Illinois - 1920s to ?)
Belvidere, Crystal Lake, Harvard, Marengo and Woodstock. Belvidere departed in 1929.
Little Four (19?? to 1948)
Baseball, Basketball, and Track were the sports competed in for titles in
this highly competitive conference.
Little 8 (north central) 1921
This conference was formed in 1921 as the Little 6 and its charter members
were Buda, Bureau Twp, Manlius, Ohio, Sheffield and Walnut. Ohio left in 1926 and Neponset joined. The name changed to the Little 8 in 1928 when Tiskilwa and Wyanet joined. La Moille and Malden joined later under the Little 8 banner. By 1952, Walnut had moved to the Blackhawk conference.
Bureau Twp dropped football in 1955. Manlius moved to the Blackhawk in 1958.
Buda and Sheffield consolidated in 1961 to form Buda Western. That same year Annawan and Tampico joined the league. Malden dropped
football for good after the 1965 season. Buda Western moved to the Blackhawk in 1968 and De Pue was
added to take their place. This alignment was stable through the 1975 season which was the leagues final year. Neponset
dropped football after 1975.
Little 8 (Far North)
This version of the Little 8 began play
in the 1920s, and by the 1934-35 basketball and baseball seasons included Aurora Marmion, Burlington, Elburn, Hampshire,
Kaneville, Maple Park, Plato Center, and Sugar Grove. The conference also organized musicals and other theatrical activities
for its member schools. By 1937, Marmion had dropped out and Big Rock had taken its place. Burlington and Plato Center consolidated
in 1951, and then Hiawatha joined from the Shark Conference. Further consolidations reduced Elburn, Kaneville, Maple Park
and Sugar Grove into Kaneland in 1958, and Big Rock into Hinckley (in the Little 10) in 1957.
Football member schools played in the Rainbow Conference until 1958,
when the Little 8 was recognized as its own football conference with four schools: Central, Genoa-Kingston, Kaneland, and
Hiawatha. Huntley added football in 1959 and Earlville in 1960. In 1963 Kaneland moved to the bigger Little 7 conference
and Paw Paw fielded a team for the first time in the league. In 1964 Hampshire had its first full varsity team and in
1965 Alden-Hebron and Richmond-Burton joined and Paw Paw dropped football meaning for the first time the Little 8 actually
had 8 football playing members. But not for long. In 1967 Mooseheart joined the league and in 1973 Wheaton Christian
did likewise. The resulting 10 team circuit played its final year in 1979.
Little 8 (Northeast)
*From George H. Scheetz:
"This Little Eight Conference was organized in 1919 and included Plano, Hinckley, Paw Paw, Waterman, Rollo, Leland, Somonauk, and Sandwich—described in the article as the “light schools in Kendall, DeKalb, and
LaSalle counties.” Source: Geneva Republican [Geneva, Ill.],17 October 1919
Little 8 (Northwest)
This circuit was around at least by 1918-1919. Basketball playing member schools
were Mount Morris, Morrison, Mount Carroll, Polo, Rock Falls, Galena, Savanna and Lanark. Most of these schools were in the Rock River Valley Conference during the 1920s.
Little 8 (southwest)
From Winifred Locher:
"My Dad Fred S. Lewter organized the "Little 8" conference consisting of all Macoupin
County schools except Rockbridge. We were very close to Macoupin County though. The schools who were a part of this
We competed in sports and literary contests. These were all 4-year high schools."
Little 10 (northern Illinois)
*This is the oldest continually running basketball conference in
The Little 10 was organized during the 1919-1920 school year with Earlville,
Hinckley, Leland, Paw Paw, Plano, Rollo, Sandwich, Shabbona, Somonauk and Waterman as charter schools. Some of these schools played football in other nearby
conferences. Sheridan was added at a later date, but dropped in 1939 with Serena taing their place. Rollo closed in 1954. Hinckley consolidated
with Big Rock in 1957. In 1967, Sandwich and Plano left and Newark and Malta joined. Shabbona and Waterman consolidated to form Indian Creek in 1993, thus shortening the conference
to 9 teams. LaMoille joined in 1996. Malta closed in 2000. Kirkland Hiawatha joined in 2006. Beginning with the
2006-07 school year, Earlville and Leland formed a co-op for all sports and are known as Earlville-Leland.
|Little Ten Conference History Written in 1949
|Submitted by Hank Wassman (From Conference Tourney Program)
Little 10 (southeastern Illinois)
Franklin E. Pemberton
tells us: "The conference was formed in 1920 or there abouts.
In the late 20's a conference was formed and named the "Little Ten Conference". Per Frank Adams a highly respected DVM the following
were the original members of the Little Ten Conference (town populations in parenthesis):
Allendale (505), Crossville (786), Browns (151), Bellmont (293), Keensburg(240), Bone Gap (234), Noble (726), Lancaster (100?), Claremont (198) & Calhoun (215).
This apparently was a conference for very small schools. But with the replacing of small schools
and adding larger towns, the conference developed respectable teams. In
, Wayne City, St. Francisville
, Grayville, Crossville
and Mills Prairie
represented the conference very well. The conference had only 7 members when Allendale was closed. In the mid fifties
the Yellowjackets were the best in Wabash county. This Little 10 conference
no longer exists, but it is not forgotten."
(1970 to 1983)
Formed in 1970 its charter members were Casey, Marshall, Martinsville, Oblong, Palestine and Toledo-Cumberland. St. Elmo joined in 1972. Palestine
left in 1981 and the leagues final football season was 1983.
Little Illini (present day)
The Little Illini name was resurrected in
1996 with Albion-Edwards County, Casey-Westfield, Marshall, Martinsville, Oblong
and Toledo-Cumberland its charter football members. Palestine was added in 1997, Bridgeport-Red Hill and Lawrenceville
joined in 2001 and Flora in 2003.
left the Little Illini Conference after the 2007-2008 school year, was independent for the 2008-09 school
year and joined the Little Okaw Valley for the 2009-10 school year
Little Okaw Valley
The league was formed in 1971 when the seven smallest
members of the Okaw Valley - Arthur, Atwood-Hammond, Bement, Cerro Gordo, Newman, Oakland, and Villa Grove broke away to form their own separate league. Homer was also a charter member in 1971 coming over from the East Central conference. Homer left in 1980 and Newman
and Oakland did also in 1981 and Arcola joined that same year. In 1994 Atwood-Hammond
and Bement formed the South Piatt coop for football and Tuscola was added.
In the 1996 the league expanded by adding Broadlands Heritage, Hume Shiloh, Illiopolis
and readmitting Oakland. In 1997 Broadlands Heritage and Hume Shiloh began the East Central football coop.
In 2003 and 2004 Okaw Valley coop (Bethany and Findlay) participated in football.
|Little 7 Conference Logo
|Submitted by George H. Scheetz
This conference was officially organized for the start of the 1921-22 school year, according
to research conducted by George Scheetz. The seven founding members of the
Little Seven Conference were Batavia, Dundee, Geneva, Naperville, Saint Charles, Sycamore, and Wheaton; only Batavia, Geneva, and Sycamore were members for the entire
history of the conference. Red Grange was still in high school at Wheaton when the Little Seven Conference
Conference sports mentioned in the records examined included football,
basketball, track, and baseball, and (beginning perhaps in 1958-59) wrestling and golf. The introduction of wrestling as a
conference sport was discussed as early as March 1956, but no action was taken at that time. There were other sports in
later years. (In addition, schools may have participated in other sports that were not official conference sports; for example,
some participated in wrestling much earlier than 1958.) Here is an alphabetical listing of schools that participated in the
Little 7 Conference:
**Batavia High School1921-1995
Dropped football for three seasons (1934, 1935, 1936).
**Belvidere High School, 1959-1963
Originally applied for membership in 1954.
**Cary-Grove High School, 1967-1973
**Dundee Community High School, 1921-1957
Dundee's letter of withdrawal from the conference was dated 9 October 1956; accepted, effective
at the end of the 1956-57 school year.
**Geneva Community High School, 1921-1995
**Kaneland High School (Maple Park), 1963-1995
**Minooka Community High School, 1991-1995
**Mooseheart High School, 1958-1967
**Morris Community High School, 1973-1995
**Naperville High School, 1921-1963
Now Naperville Central High School
**Oswego High School, 1963-1995
**Plainfield High School, 1965-1995
Now Plainfield Central High School
**Saint Charles High School, 1921-1965
**Sycamore High School, 1921-1995
School also known as "Syco."
**Waubonsie Valley High School (Aurora), 1975-1995
**West Chicago Community High School, 1936-1975
Dropped football for one or more seasons in the 1940s.
School also known as "WeGo" or "Wego."
**Wheaton High School, 1921-1959
Name changed to Wheaton Community High School from 1925-1964); now Wheaton Warrenville
South High School (since 1992). Wheaton dropped out of the conference after the 1929-30
school year, for perhaps four years, then rejoined.Wheaton was allowed to withdraw
from conference competition in football and basketball effective in 1954-55, but remained an active member of the conference
until after the 1958-59 school year, and participated in other sports. (Many schools continued to play Wheaton in football
and basketball, but those games officially were non-conference games.)
**Yorkville High School, 1991-1995
The 1994-95 season proved to be the loops last when the members merged with the SW Suburban teams
to form the Suburban Prairie conference the following season.
Sycamore High School won the first and last football championships (1921 and 1994) of the Little 7 Conference..
In 1952 this leagues football playing members were Abingdon, Aledo, Alexis, Knoxville and Roseville. In 1962 Roseville left for the Bi County and Galesburg Corpus Christi was added. In 1964 Corpus Christi changed their name to Costa. In 1968 Galva came over from the Blackhawk. In 1971 Galesburg Costa dropped football and the league
was back to 6 teams again. 1975 was the conference's final football season. Sharon Karpinski tells
us that R.O.V.A. (Oneida) was also a member of this conference for basketball and football.
M - C - M (Macoupin - Clinton - Madison)
Meridian (central Illinois)
The Meridian conference was formed in 1959. Its' charter football members were Assumption, Bethany, Illiopolis, Lovington, Maroa-Forsythe, Moweaqua and Niantic-Harristown. In 1964 Macon fielded its first team in the league. Niantic-Harristown dropped football in
1965 due to budget constraints but the program was resurrected in 1966 and played an independent schedule. They
fully rejoined conference play in 1967. The league was stable for over 20 years until Lovington dropped
football in 1989. In 1990, Niantic-Harristown dropped football for good this time and in 1992 Mowequa and Assumption
consolidated to form Mowequa A&M. Down to 5 teams, the league searched for a replacement and Tuscola was pursuaded
to join in 1992. The revamped Meridian lasted only very briefly when in 1993 Bethany dropped football. No replacement
was found and 1993 turned out to be the league's last season.
**From Brian Isaacs:
"Maroa-Forsyth still exists - in fact it's the only school
that still exists with the same name. Every other Meridian school has either deactivated or consolidated - Macon joined
with Blue Mound (now Meridian), Assumption with Moweaqua (now Central A & M), Bethany with Findlay (now Okaw Valley),
Illiopolis with Niantic-Harristown (now Sangamon Valley), while Stonington, Tower Hill, and Lovington deactivated."
**Lee Connelly provided the following information regarding members of the Meridian Conference for
the 1967-68 school year:
MACON HS, BETHANY HS, STONINGTON HS, BLUE MOUND HS, FINDLAY HS, MOWEQUA HS , ASSUMPTION HS, MAROA HS, LOVINGTON HS, TOWER HILL HS, ILLIOPOLIS HS, NIANTIC-HARRISTOWN HS
Meridian (northern Illinois)
Our good friend Brian Hoxsey found this gem while completing research on the Little Ten Conference. The
Meridian Conference we know for certain existed in 1942. It was in this year that the conference held a basketball
tournament for its members. Those members included the following teams, all schools that are now closed and on the Glory
In 1942 the conference tourney was won by Poplar Grove.
Metro Catholic (1960-1965)
Formed in 1960 its charter members were Marian Catholic, Maryville Academy, Wheaton St. Francis and St. Francis De Sales. Little Flower Academy joined in 1961 and Gary, IN Andrean in
1964. Wheaton St. Francis and Gary Andrean left in 1964 and the last football season was 1965.
Formed in 1982, its charter members were Bartonville Limestone, Canton, Chillicothe IVC, Metamora, Morton
and Washington. East Peoria joined in 1984 and Dunlap joined in 2000, Pekin became a member in the fall of 2006.
Formed in 1972 its members were Byron, Forreston, Mt Morris
, Oregon, Pecatonica, Polo, Stillman Valley and Winnebago. The only change in this league's 19-year history
was in its final season in 1990 when the Winnebago/Pecatonica co-op reduced the loop to 7 teams.
The Mid-South Conference ended play at the end of the 2007-08 school year.
- Conference began in 1983-84
- Original members were Waltonville, Woodlawn, Webber Township, Wayne City, Grayville, and Norris City- Omaha- Enfield (NCOE).
- Thompsonville joined in the 1990s
- Main sport was boys' basketball. Schools also offered baseball and track for boys and volleyball, basketball, softball
and track for girls.
Current members (as of 2007-08) include:
Waltonville, Grayville, Bluford (Webber Twp.), Woodlawn, Wayne City, Thompsonville, Norris City-Omaha-Enfield (NCOE)
Mid State (Mid Central)
In 1952 this conference featured Chenoa, Cornell, El Paso, Fairbury, Flanagan
, Lexington and Minonk-Dana
. In 1951, Fairbury merged with Cropsey
, while in 1955, Minonk-Dana
consolidated with Rutland. Fairbury-Cropsey
left in 1957. Streator Woodland joined in 1964. Cornell
football in 1971 and Deer Creek-Mackinaw was added in 1972. Gridley
dropped football briefly in 1984
and resumed the program in 1986. In 1992, Minonk-Dana-Rutland
consolidated with a neighboring district and became known as Fieldcrest. In 1995, Cullom Tri-Point and Tremont
joined the league and Colfax Ridgeview and Heyworth followed in 1997. In 2004, El Paso
consolidated and Chenoa
left the league by consolidating into Prairie Central. 2005 was the final year
for this venerable conference as most of the schools became part of a new Heart of Illinois Conference starting in the
fall of 2006.
Mid State (South Central)
Conference was formed in 1944-45. Original members were Greenville, Hillsboro, Kincaid, Litchfield, Nokomis,
Pana, Taylorville and Vandalia.
1948 Nokomis leaves the conference
1960 Kincaid left and Effingham entered the league.
left to rejoin the South Central.
1981 Effingham and Taylorville joined the Apollo Conference;
Breese (Mater Dei) took their place.
At the time the conference disbanded they sponsored conference championships in baseball,
boys and girls basketball, football, golf, boys and girls tennis, boys and girls track and field.
1952 the conference featured Hillsboro, Kincaid South Fork, Litchfield, Pana, Shelbyville, Taylorville and Vandailia. Greenville
joined the football battles in 1958. In 1960 Kincaid South Fork left and Effingham joined and the membership was stable
for two decades until 1980 when Litchfield left for the South Central. In 1981 Effingham and Taylorville departed for
the Apollo and Breese Mater Dei was added. The membership then remained stable again until the final football season
in 1996. For 1997 most of the schools joined the South Central.
Mid State x
The x is to represent the varying name of the league based on the number of teams participating 8, 9, 10 or
6 at various times over the years. This league played its first football in 1958 with Bartonville Limestone, East Peoria,
Pekin, Peoria Central, Peoria Manual, Peoria Richwoods, Peoria Spalding
and Peoria Woodruff as the charter members. In 1966, Peoria Bergan
played its first full football season in the loop. Washington joined in 1978 and left in 1982 along with
Bartonville Limestone to charter the Mid-Illini conference. In 1984, East Peoria left and Springfield, Springfield Lanphier
and Springfield SE joined the league. In 1988, Bergan
Peoria Notre Dame and the 3 Springfield schools left in 1994. Pekin left the conference in 2006 to join the Mid-Illini
and Quincy Notre Dame replaced them for football only. Chillicothe IVC replaced QND as the sixth football school
Formed in 1963, its charter members were Deerfield, Forest View
, Glenbrook, Maine West and Prospect. In 1964 Glenbrook split into North and South and new schools Niles North
and Wheeling were added. Major upheaval in 1965 with Deerfield, Glenbrook North and South and Niles North leaving and
Palatine joining along with new school Conant. Arlington
joined in 1966. Maine West left in 1967. New schools Elk Grove and Fremd joined in 1967, Glenbard North
in 1968, Hersey in 1969, Schaumburg in 1970, Rolling Meadows in 1971, Buffalo Grove in 1974 and Hoffman Estates in 1975. Glenbard
North left in 1973. With all the new schools a two-division setup was instituted in 1970 with a championship game dubbed
"the Mid-Suburban Super Bowl" between the two division winners at seasons' end. The last such game was played in 1974. In
1977, Barrington joined the league while Arlington closed in 1984 and Forest View followed suit in 1986.
Phil Shadid provided the
following information about this far southern, three-year high school conference:
"For the 8 schools
that were in the "Midget 8" conference for basketball, the following are by enrollments for 1939-40 school year, whether
they were 2 or 3 year school,
principal/coach name, and probable year they closed.
Buncombe, 22 (3-yr school), Joe Calhoun, closed 1944.
Cambria, 38 (became 3-yr school), Elmer Finley, closed 1947.
Creal Springs, 76 (3-yr), Ray Coffey, closed 1947?
New Burnside, 45 (3-yr), J. B. Hancock, closed 1944.
Pittsburg, 57 (3-yr), Leonard Jones, closed 1946? (had 19 enrolled in 1944
and was a 2-yr school).
Robbs, 29 (3-yr), Carl Hise, closed 1948? (had 30 enrolled in 1944 and was
a 2-yr school).
Simpson, 17 (3-yr), Ewing Lawrence, closed 1944.
Stonefort, 45 (3-yr), Alden Deaton, closed 1963.
The only mentions in 1940 newspapers
regarding this conference were: "12th annual conference tournament to
be held at Creal Springs, Jan. 24-29, 1940. Won-lost records within the
conference prior to 1-24-40: Simpson 10-2, Cambria 8-2, Pittsburg 7-3, New
Burnside 5-5, Creal Springs 5-5, Buncombe 2-8, Robbs 2-8, Stonefort 1-8." (All
are now on Glory Days website). A player for Cambria by the name of Yewell had
84 points prior to the tournament, and he was in 6th place for conference
scorers. No coach's name found. No scores of the tourney were ever published
and no further mention was found concerning the conference."
The Midland Trail plays a conference schedule for baseball (Fall only), boys and girls basketball,
and girls volleyball.. Current schools include:
Farina (South Central),
Cisne, Louisville (North Clay), Odin, Sandoval, Dieterich, Noble, and Clay City .The conference history includes the
following timeline: Second oldest conference in the state.....dating
back to its origination in 1928. (see "Little 10" above, started in 1919)
Original members were - Xenia, Iuka, Sumner, Clay City, Noble, Louisville.
Early 30's - Dundas
and Cisne were added.
1938 - Iuka withdrew......lost their school and went to Salem 1941
- Dundas withdrew......lost their school and went to Olney
1942 - Mt. Erie withdrew
1948 - Xenia withdrew......lost their school and went to Flora
1949 - Odin was accepted
1956 - Dieterich was accepted
1967 - Sumner
withdrew......joined Little Ten Conf.
1968 - Ramsey was accepted - Early 70's - Ramsey withdrew
1990 - Kinmundy-Alma
and Farina-LaGrove consolidated to form South Central
1990 - Sandoval
was accepted to complete the list of current teams.
2008 - Dietrich left after the 2007-08 season
2008 - The following teams joined the conference in the fall of 2008:
Woodlawn, Waltonville, Bluford (Webber
Township), Wayne City, and Grayville
2009 - Waltonville left after 2008-09 season to be
an Independent. (In conf only 1 year)
Formed in September 1948 when the Spoon River Valley conference disbanded, its charter members
were Beardstown, Galesburg Corpus Christi, Havana, Macomb, Quincy Christian Brothers and Rushville. Invitations were extended to Carthage and Monmouth and the first football competition was slated for 1949. Monmouth declined the invitation and remained an independent. Carthage
accepted and joined the football competition in 1950. Galesburg Corpus Cristi left in 1953 and Christian Brothers did also in 1956. In 1958, Carthage left and Mt. Sterling
Brown County replaced them. In 1959, Pittsfield was added while Havana and Macomb left. In 1963, Mendon Unity joined
the league and Camp Point Central did likewise in 1968. 1970 was the final football season for this loop.
(from Robert Pruter) The Midwest Prep Conference,
an organization of boarding schools, began with a track and field meet in the spring of 1927. The initial members of the league were Elgin Academy, Morgan Park Military Academy (Chicago) , St. Albans (Sycamore), Onarga Military Academy, and Wayland Academy (Beaver Dam, WI). The Midwest Conference held an annual
post-season basketball championship, which not only included the league members,
but was open to prep schools throughout the Midwest. A rifle championship sponsored by the league was also an open event. The league disbanded in 1947 following the final post-season basketball
tournament, which was held at Lake Forest Academy.
League member history: Elgin Academy, Chicago
Morgan Park Military Academy, Sycamore St. Albans, Onarga Military Academy,
and Beaver Dam Wayland Academy were the charter members in 1927. Culver Military Academy (Culver, IN)
and Lake Forest Academy (Lake Forest, IL) joined the league in 1932 to
increase the league membership to seven, while three more schools, Milwaukee
University, Chicago College Prep, and Pleasant View Academy (Ottawa, IL)
were admitted in the fall of 1935. The three schools only stayed
for one school year (Pleasant View was closed in the spring of 1936 and is now a nursing home), but Woodstock Todd joined in the fall of 1936 to show eight schools were in the league. In the fall of 1938, St. John’s Military Academy of Delafield, WI (which was once located in Highland Park) along with Park School of Indianapolis, IN joined,
increasing the league to 10 schools.
Played its first football in 1952 with Bethalto, Cahokia, Madison and Roxana participating. The members
for basketball in the 1950's included Bethalto, Cahokia, Greenville, Highland, Madison and Roxana. Highland joined in 1954
and Dupo in 1956. In 1967 St Jacob Triad joined and in 1968 Cahokia left. The 1970-71 school year was the league's last
with school members including Bethalto, Dupo, Highland, Madison, Roxana, and Triad.
Mississippi Valley (1922-23)
Macomb, Carthage, Fort Madison (IA), Keokuk (IA), Pittsfield, Quincy.
Mississippi Valley (1957-1968)
East Moline, Moline and Rock Island participated in this conference for football from 1957 to 1968 with several Iowa
Mississippi Valley (present day)
Formed in 1971 the leagues charter members were Bethaltho, Highland, Jerseyville, Mascoutah, O'Fallon, Roxana, Troy
Triad and Wood River. Triad left in 1978 and returned in 1993. O'Fallon left in 1993. In 1997 Roxana and Wood River
left and Waterloo became the loops newest member.
The MSM league took its name from the 3 counties in the region - Macoupin, Sangamon and Morgan.
The following information on the conference's begining was researched and provided to us by
our good friend Phil Shadid:
Five schools became charter members of the MSM (Macoupin-Sangamon-Morgan) Conference in a
meeting on April 3, 1926: Auburn, Girard, Pawnee, Virden and Waverly. As reported in the Illinois State Journal (Springfield),
"the first contest will be a track meet April 17 at Virden." The following September of 1926, the schools would begin playing
each other once in Football, and then play home-and-home games in Basketball starting in November.
Tom Sikorski adds:
By 1952 the leagues football members were Auburn, Girard, Nokomis, Palmyra NW, Pawnee, Springfield St. James, Virden and Waverly. In 1956, Nokomis left for the South Central and Franklin played its first full conference season
in football. 1956 was Springfield St. James' last football season and in 1960 Kincaid South Fork joined from the
Mid State. Franklin dropped football in 1961. In 1967 Petersburg Porta joined when Virden left for the South Central. Waverly
played an independent schedule in football from 1968 to 1973. They rejoined the conference frays in 1974 and dropped
football for good in 1980. Meanwhile, Greenfield participated in football in the MSM from 1971 through 1975. Divernon played a full conference football slate in the MSM from 1974 through 1982. In 1977, New Berlin and
Williamsville were added and 1984 was the last football season under the MSM banner. Most of the schools formed the present
day Prairie State conference for 1985. Pawnee joined this conference in 2008.
This conference, 72 years old and running, includes the following schools:
Teutopolis, Effingham (St. Anthony), Altamont, Neoga, St. Elmo, Stewardson-Strasburg, Beecher City, Cowden-Herrick, Brownstown,
Sports offered include boys and girls basketball, baseball, and girls volleyball.
Dietrich joined for the start of the 2009-10 school year.
NCIC (North Central Illinois Conference)
This conference was formed in 1929 with charter members being Belvidere, DeKalb, Dixon, Mendota, Rochelle
and Sterling. Rochelle departed in 1937 and Princeton joined in 1939. Geneseo, Ottawa, Rock Falls and Spring Valley Hall all
joined in 1942. That year, the conference was divided into "Northeast" and "Southwest" divisions in
NCIC Northeast: DeKalb, Dixon, Hall, Ottawa and Sterling
NCIC Southwest: Geneseo, Mendota,
Princeton, and Rock Falls
Rochelle rejoined in 1947. In 1958, Kewanee and Streator joined the NCIC, both playing in the Northeast
division in football, while Hall switched to the Southwest. DeKalb left in 1963 and LaSalle-Peru joined the following year.
Geneseo and Kewanee switched divisions in football in 1982. In 2006, Rochelle departed and Chillicothe IVC joined, the first
new member in 42 years.
The NCIC officially split into two divisions in all sports starting with the 2006-07 school year
based on school size:
NCIC Reagan: Dixon, Geneseo, LaSalle-Peru, Ottawa, Streator and Sterling
Hall, IVC, Kewanee, Mendota, Princeton and Rock Falls
Morris joined in 2009 and competed in the Reagan division. Kewanee left in 2010. The entire Reagan Division also left
in 2010 to help form the Northern Illinois Big XII, leaving the Lincoln schools as the only NCIC schools. Peru St. Bede joined
this loop in 2010 in all sports except football.
Mendota and Rock Falls left in 2011 for the Big Northern, and Hall also departed that year for the Tri-County. The NCIC
for the 2011-12 season will be a three-team loop with IVC, Princeton and St. Bede competing in all sports except football
Sometimes referred to as the Northeastern conference by 1951 this league featured Dwight, Gardner, Lemont, Mazon, Reddick and Wilmington. Mazon dropped football in 1952 and Streator Woodland was added in 1956. Gardner dropped football in 1957 and Wilmington
left the league in 1958. Streator Woodland left in 1960 and down to 3 teams the league formally folded for football after
This league existed for football for the 1956 season only and featured Belvidere, Elmwood Park, Marmion
and North Chicago.
One of a few different conferences over the years to use the name Northeast. This edition was formed
in 1966 with the charter members being Dwight, Lemont, Lisle, Marseilles
, Plano, Sandwich, Wilmington and Yorkville. In 1973 Minooka and Seneca had full football teams and the league
was divided into two divisions.
The North consisted of Lemont, Lisle, Plano, Sandwich and Yorkville.
The South of Dwight, Marseilles
, Minooka, Seneca and Wilmington.
The league instituted a playoff with the winners of the respective divisions squaring off the last week of the season
in a championship game. In 1976, Sandwich dropped all sports when a tax referendum failed and the league discontinued
divisional play. Westmont was added in 1977 and Coal City in 1978. In 1979 most of the leagues members left to form
the Interstate 8 conference (Coal City, Dwight, Marseilles, Plano, Seneca, Wilmington, and Yorkville leaving). Elmwood
Park was added that same year however, and the league took on a more suburban rather than small town feel with the 5
members being Elmwood Park, Lemont, Lisle, Minooka and Westmont. Herscher joined the mix in 1981 and Evergreen
Park in 1983. Herscher left in 1987 and the last year for the Northeast was 1990.
Northeast Athletic Conference
Dave Schmidt tells us the NEAC was started in 2009 by the following charter members:
Arlington Hts Christian Liberty Academy
Aurora Illinois Math and Science Academy
Chicago Luther North
Rockford Christian Life
Rockford Kieth Country Day
Changes for 2012 - Rockford Christian will join the Big Northern West, the NEAC will welcome Ottawa Marquette to
In the early 1950's this league consisted of Bridgeport Red Hill, Fairfield, Flora, Lawrenceville, Mt. Carmel, Olney
and Salem. Carmi joined the football battles in 1957. The league membership remained stable for a remarkable 44 seasons
until in 2001 Red Hill and Lawrenceville left for the Little Illini. 2002 was the last year for football in the North
Northern Illinois Conference (NIC-10)
This Conference formed in 1982 as a name change from the "Big 9" to the "NIC-10" with Belvidere, Freeport, Machesney
Park Harlem, Rockford Auburn, Rockford Boylan, Rockford East, Rockford Guilford, Rockford Jefferson, Rockford West and
Rockton Hononegah (who left the Shark Conference in 1982). West closed in 1989, renaming the Conference the "NIC-9."
Belvidere North opened in 2006, resurrecting the "NIC-10" name.
The following is a chronological timeline of the history of the Big 7 and NIC provided by
- The Northern Illinois High School Conference began
play in 1916 with East Aurora, West Aurora, DeKalb, Freeport, Rockford, Elgin and Joliet as charter members. Following
a series of disputes during that first season, including the fact that no one had considered how ties would impact the standings,
West Aurora, Freeport and Elgin were ruled to have finished in a "three-cornered tie," with no champion. DeKalb
withdrew prior to the 1917-18 school year, and the league continued with six schools. Rockford won the 1917 championship
with a 4-1-0 record. The 1918 season was cancelled due to the Spanish flu pandemic of that year. (This is why,
I believe, most people think the league began in 1919).
- DeKalb rejoined the NIHSC in 1919, and by 1921 newspapers
began referring to the league as the Big 7. Gradually, reference to the Northern Illinois High School Conference faded
away, and the league became known as the Big 7.
- In 1929, DeKalb once again left the conference, and the league became
known as the Big 6.
- In 1935, LaSalle-Peru was added, and once again the league was called the Big 7.
1940, Rockford split into Rockford East and Rockford West, and the conference became the Big 8
- In 1960, Rockford
Auburn replaced Joliet, which left for the South Suburban Conference.
- In 1963, East Aurora, West Aurora and Elgin
left the Big 8 to help form the Upstate 8 Conference, and were immediately replaced by Harlem High School, Belvidere
High School, Rockford Guilford High School.
- In 1964 LaSalle-Peru was replaced by Rockford Boylan.
Jefferson joined in 1971 and the Conference became the Big 9.
- In 1982, Hononegah High School joined and the conference
was renamed the Northern Illinois Conference (NIC-10), perhaps unknowingly returning to its roots and the Northern
Illinois High School Conference.
- Rockford West closed in 1989 and, the conference became the NIC-9.
North High School opened in 2007.
- 2016 MARKS THE 100TH YEAR OF EXISTENCE FOR THE BIG 7 / NIC-10. FREEPORT
HIGH SCHOOL IS THE ONLY SCHOOL TO HAVE PARTICIPATED IN ALL 100 YEARS OF EXISTENCE!
North Shore (1904?-1914?)
(from Robert Pruter) The North Shore League was not a tightly-organized league, with competition organized on an invitational
basis. The athletic events were poorly reported in Chicago newspapers. The "league" included both the public and private schools
in North Shore, namely the suburbs along the short of Lake Michigan north of Chicago. Lake Forest Academy and Evanston Academy
both also belonged to the Academic League, and New Trier occasionally participated in the Cook County League.
Other members included Evanston, Waukegan, Highland Park Deerfield-Shields
, and Northwestern Military Academy
of Highland Park. Evanston became a full-fledged participant after it withdrew from the Cook County League in
1907 over a basketball dispute. League activities largely ceased when the Suburban League was formed in 1913, gathering members
New Trier, Evanston, and Waukegan.
Harvard, Hononegah, Machesney Park Harlem, Marengo, South Beloit and Winnebago. Conference was active during the 1930s
Formed in 1948, its charter members were Crystal Lake, Grayslake, Lake Forest, Libertyville, Gurnee Warren,
Woodstock and Zion-Benton. In 1952, Grayslake left and was replaced by Barrington. McHenry joined in 1953. In 1957,
Dundee joined and Lake Forest and Warren left. Palatine joined in 1959 but left in 1964 and was replaced by North
Chicago. The league's alignment was stable for 10 years until in 1973 when Woodstock left and the league readmitted
Lake Forest plus newcomers Crown and Mundelein. Dundee left in 1976 and Barrington in 1977. In 1978, Crown, Crystal Lake and McHenry left
to charter the new Fox Valley conference and only Maine North was found as a replacement that season. The following year 1979 Fenton, Niles North and West Leyden joined
the league. In 1981 Maine North closed and West Leyden combined its athletic program with East Leyden. Stevenson joined in 1982. Antioch joined and Warren rejoined
in 1983. Niles North left in 1991 and Fenton in 1995. The league added 4 schools in 2000 and divided into
two divisions. Existing members Antioch, Lake Forest, Libertyville, Mundelein, Stevenson and Warren formed the Lake division
and existing members North Chicago and Zion-Benton were joined by newcomers Grant, Round Lake, Vernon Hills and Wauconda in
the Prairie division. In 2005 Lake Zurich joined the Lake division and Lake Villa Lakes the Prairie division while Antioch
and Zion-Benton switched divisions. Waukegan will join this conference in 2016.
Formed in 1963, this conference featured the same 9 schools that competed under the Stepenson County conference banner
previously: Dakota, Durand, Freeport Aquin, Galena, Lena-Winslow, Orangeville, Pearl City, Stockton and Warren. In
joined and the last football season under the Northwest banner was 1973. In 1974 after Durand, Orangeville
and Pearl City left for the Upstate Illini, the remaining schools changed the loop's name to Northwest Illinois.
Canton, East Moline, Galesburg, Kewanee, Moline and Rock Island participated in football at various times in the early
1950's under the Northwest conference banner. 1956 was the final season for this loop
Formed in 1974, the 7 members were Dakota, Freeport Aquin, Galena, Lanark
, Lena-Winslow, Stockton and Warren. In 1977, Orangeville returned to the fold and in 1988 Warren dropped
out. East Dubuque replaced them in 1989 and left in 1995 which also was the last football season under the NW Illinois
name. For 1996, this conference merged with the Upstate Illini.
This conference existed for just 2 seasons 1972 and 1973. Ashton, Franklin Center
, Leaf River
, Milledgeville, Mt. Carroll
and Rockford Lutheran were the football playing members. Many of these schools were in the Upstate Illini in
Formed in 1977 its charter members were Ashton
, Durand, Franklin Center
, Leaf River
, Milledgeville, Mt Carroll
, Pearl City and Rockford Lutheran. In 1981 Rockford Lutheran dropped out. The league was reduced to 6
teams in 1985 when Leaf River dropped football, Ashton and Franklin Center began their coop and Kirkland-Hiawatha
was added to the league. In 1989 Rockford Lutheran rejoined, and South Beloit and Warren-River Ridge were also new members.
North Boone was added in 1990, the league's final football season.
Formed in 1925, its charter members were Antioch, Arlington
, Barrington, Libertyville, Palatine, Warren and Wauconda. In 1938, Arlington, Lake Forest, Libertyville, Niles
and Warren left what had become a 14-team league. By 1950, the membership was Antioch, Barrington, Bensenville, Ela-Vernon
, Grant, Northbrook, Palatine and Wauconda. Barrington left in 1952 and Grayslake replaced them. Northbrook
closed in 1952 and Glenbrook opened in 1953. In 1955, Bensenville changed their name to Fenton. Major upheaval in 1957
with Fenton, Glenbrook and Palatine leaving and Lake Forest, Round Lake and Warren joining. In 1965 Ela-Vernon
closed and Lake Zurich opened. In 1973, Cary-Grove, Stevenson and Woodstock joined and Lake Forest left. In
1976, Dundee joined along with new school Jacobs and the league divided into 2 divisions. Cary-Grove, Jacobs and Woodstock
left in 1978 to charter the Fox Valley and the division format was scrapped. Stevenson left in 1982 and was replaced
by Johnsburg. Antioch and Warren left in 1983 and were replaced by Marian Central Catholic and Marengo. Lake Zurich
and Marengo left in 1992 and 1996 proved to be the loop's last when Grayslake and Marian Central left after that season.
Formed in 1974, the charter members were Elmwood Park, Fenton, Lake Park and Ridgewood. Maine North
joined the circuit in 1975 and 1976 was the last for this short-lived conference.
Okaw Valley (Old)
In the early 1950's, this league consisted of Arcola, Arthur, Atwood-Hammond, Bement, Cerro Gordo, Monticello, Newman
, Oakland, Sullivan, Tuscola and Villa Grove. Tolono Unity was added in 1958. In 1971, the smallest 7
schools left to form the Little Okaw Valley and 3 schools were replacements-Decatur St Teresa, St Joseph-Ogden and Warrensburg-Latham. In
1976, Arcola left and Mahomet-Seymour replaced them. In 1982, Sullivan and Warrensburg-Latham left and Argenta-Oreana was
added. Tuscola dropped out in 1983 and 1984 was the league's last for football until 1990.
Okaw Valley (present day)
The Okaw Valley name was resurrected for football in 1990 with Argenta-Oreana, Clinton, Decatur St Teresa, Monticello,
Sullivan and Warrensburg-Latham. In 1995, Macon Meridian and Maroa-Forsyth were added and in 1997, Moweaqua A&M also joined.
Shelbyville became the league's newest member in 1999.
Formed in the fall of 1948, this conference got its name because like the Olympics held that year, the
member schools would be competing in many different events. The first football competition was held in 1948, but to be
eligible for the championship schools had to play at least 3 other member schools. The charter members were Astoria,
Bushnell, Cuba, Lewistown, Spoon River Valley and Table Grove VIT. In 1953 Industry was added. 1958 was the league's final football season. The Olympic conference name was resurrected in 1976 with
completely different schools.
Olympic (western Illinois)
In 1976 the present day Olympic conference was formed drawing Abingdon, Aledo and Knoxville from
the Little 6, Joy Westmer, Orion, Sherrard and Taylor Ridge Rockridge from the Corn Belt and Monmouth from the Illio. In 1982, Abingdon and Knoxville left to form the Prairieland conference. In 1987, Westmer dropped out
and Macomb took their place. In 1992, Farmington joined and Knoxville rejoined again giving the league an 8-team
alignment. Recently Aledo announced plans to join the new Western Illinois mega conference,
meaning 2005 was Aledo's last football season in the Olympic. Knoxville left in 2009, and the last season for this
conference is the 2009-10 school year.
Pentangle Interscholastic Association (1910-1916)
(from Robert Pruter) The Pentangle Interscholastic Association (or PIA) was formed around 1910 by five
mid-sized schools (Maywood Proviso, Des Plaines Maine, Barrington, Arlington, and Palatine) in Cook County that had no home
n the Cook County League, because most of the league schools were either too distant or too large to successfully compete
in the league. The Cook County League at the end of 1913 broke up into the Chicago Public League and the Suburban League,
and within three years, Proviso left the PIA to join the Suburban League. The league continued on as the Quadrangle Interscholastic
Association (QIA), and broke up at the end of the 1924 season, with Maine joining the newly-formed West Suburban Conference
and the other three schools joined another newly-formed conference, the Northwest Suburban Conference.
This short lived conference offered football from 1954 through 1958. Its charter members were Arenzville, Bluffs, Chandlerville, Chapin, Jacksonville Routt, Meredosia-Chambersburg and Virginia. Virginia left in 1956 to join the Illinois Valley.
The PMSC league was formed in 1961. It took its name from the 4 counties it drew its teams from Pike,
Morgan, Scott and Cass. The charter football playing members were Bluffs, Concord Triopia, Jacksonville ISD, Jacksonville
Routt, Meredosia-Chambersburg, Petersburg Porta and Virginia. Porta dropped out in 1967 and Pleasant Hill joined in 1969. Bluffs
played as independent starting in 1971 and 1973 was the league's final year for football.
This version of the Prairie conference was formed in 1986 by Alden-Hebron, Lake Forest Academy, Mooseheart,
North Shore Country Day, Rockford Lutheran plus Northwest Military in Wisconsin. In 1987 Williams Bay, WI joined and
in 1988 Rockford Lutheran dropped out. 1989 was the last football season for this conference.
The Prairieland was formed in 1982 with these 8 original members:
Abingdon, Bushnell-Prairie City,
Cuba, Elmwood, Farmington, Knoxville, Lewistown, and London Mills (Spoon River Valley). Elmwood began their football
coop in the league with Brimfield in 1990 (as well as cross country and track), but the latter school continued to only compete
in the Inter-County for their sports. Farmington and Knoxville left in 1992 for the Olympic, and were replaced by Astoria
(who cooped with Table Grove VIT for football) and Havana. Valley left in 1995 and was replaced by Peoria Heights. VIT
and Astoria co-oped all their sports in 1997 as the South Fulton "Rebels." Monmouth (Yorkwood) (who had begun co-oping with Roseville in football) and Petersburg (PORTA) joined the league in 1999 for football only to give it 10 teams for that sport. After
the disbanding of the Bi-County in 2004, Yorkwood and Roseville co-oped for all sports for the 2004-05 season only and competed
in the Prairieland for all sports. Roseville consolidated with Monmouth HS in 2005, and Yorkwood cooped with Joy Westmer for football in fall 2005. The Prairieland football schools became part of the new West Prairie Trail
mega-football conference starting in fall 2006, but continues to exist for the other sports.
Formed in 1985 its charter football members were Auburn, Girard, Kincaid South Fork, Mt. Olive, Nokomis,
Palmyra NW, Pawnee, Virden and Williamsville. Palmyra NW dropped out in 1991 and Riverton was added in 1996 and New Berlin
Preparatory (or Interpreparatory) League
(from Robert Pruter) The Preparatory League, or Interpreparatory League as it was known, was a conference of small, private day schools organized in 1895.
The preparatory schools, as the name indicates, were
secondary school institutions designed to prepare students for higher education. They were day schools usually located in old brownstone residential-type buildings in
upper class neighborhoods.
Most of the member schools in the league had names that reflected
The mainstays of the league were Harvard School in the Kenwood community, South Side Academy in the Hyde Park area, Princeton-Yale and Oxford, both located in the wealthy Prairie Avenue section on the near South Side, and University School and Chicago Latin, both located on the near North Side.
There was one school located in surburbia, Rugby School, located in upper-crust Kenilworth. Manual Training, a school for working-class youth, participated only one
Typically, the Preparatory League began with a track and field
meet in June 1895. Four schools participated in the first meet—Princeton-Yale, University, South Side, and Harvard. A baseball schedule
was also played that year, and a football championship was inaugurated in the fall of 1895. A.G.
Spalding & Bros. donated a silver cup to give to the winner of the
football title. In the early years, the league had a close relationship with the Chicago Athletic Association (CAA). The first
was held under the auspices of the CAA, and league officers often used the facilities of the club for its meetings. After 1900, some member schools adopted basketball,
but the league never adopted the sport.
was generally not as competitive with the Academic League and Cook County League in most sports,
with the huge exception of the country club sports of tennis and gold.
In golf, the league was by far preeminent and its schools, particularly
Harvard, pioneered the sport in the area. Yet for most
of its dozen-years existence, the league was in perilous
health. The schools were small and were going into decline as public schools were growing in favor. By 1907, all but Chicago Latin and Harvard
School had closed down. The last league competition ended in 1906. Latin and Harvard followed independent schedules until 1937 when they joined the Chicago Private School League, formed the previous year.
League member history: Princeton-Yale, University, South Side Academy,
and Harvard School formed league in the
spring of 1895. Rugby joined during the
1895-96 school year, while Manual Training came aboard
in 1896-87 (only to leave after that school year). Kenwood Academy was welcomed in the fall of 1897 to make the total number of members at six,
but left at the end of the 1898-99 school year along with South Side, when Chicago Latin entered. Rugby left in the spring of 1902, Princeton-Yale
closed in 1903 and was replaced by Oxford School for one school year (1903-04). Latin, Harvard, and University were the
last schools remaining when the league closed up shop after
the 1906-07 school
Private School League
(from Robert Pruter) In December of 1930,
five private religious and secular schools in the Chicago area—Chicago Christian
of Palos Heights (Dutch Reformed), Chicago Luther Institute (Lutheran), Wheaton Academy (Evangelical), Chicago Central YMCA, and the Pullman Free School of Manual Training in Chicago—came
together to form the Chicago Private School League to play a basketball schedule. Principal O.N. Wing of Central YMCA Day School took the
lead in forming the league.
The motivation in forming the league was made clear by the Chicago Daily News: “It was the logical thing to do, to give these private school athletes
a chance to compete for championships the same as the city and Catholic league players. For many years they have gone
thru their seasons, in many cases undefeated, with no reward whatsoever. And they had really good players.”
The league soon expanded with other secular and private academies, notably Harvard and Francis Parker, and added other sports. Thus, by the end of the 1930s, the secular
and religious private schools of the Chicago area had a conference that was equivalent in organization to the Chicago Catholic League and the numerous public school leagues.
League member history thru the spring of 1939:
Chicago Christian, Luther Institute, Wheaton Academy, Chicago
Pullman, and Central YMCA were the charter members, then Pullman
left in the spring of 1931. Chicago Harvard School and Chicago North Park Academy were welcomed in the fall of 1935, then Francis Parker (also known as F.W. Parker) and Woodstock Todd came aboard in the fall of 1936. Chicago Latin School,
Chicago University High, and Concordia were admitted in the fall of 1938.
(from Tom Sikorski) Football History since 1951: Chicago Latin, Francis Parker, Harvard School, Luther Institute, North Park Academy, Woodstock Todd and Wheaton Academy were the football playing members in 1951. Luther Institute split into North and South
in 1953. In 1954, Todd dropped football for good and Elgin Academy, Glenwood School and North Shore Country Day joined for football. With these additions, the league divided into 2 divisions
with a championship game between the division winners. The championship game was dropped after 1957 but the division
set up remained until 1966 when 6 schools left to form the Independent School League.
Meanwhile, Morgan Park Academy had joined in 1960 and Harvard School had dropped football in 1961. North Park Academy dropped football in 1969 and Chicago
Christian fielded its first team in the league that same year. Wheaton Academy left in 1971 and Little Flower Academy and Providence were added in 1971. Aurora Central Catholic was added in 1973 when Little Flower Academy closed. Nazareth
joined in 1980. Wheaton Academy was back in 1984 for just the one season. In 1987, Providence left and in 1995 St.
Gregory and Peru St. Bede joined. Aurora Central left in 1997. In 1998 St. Gregory dropped football, Peru St. Bede
left the league and Aurora Christian joined. In 2001 Nazareth left and Rockford Christian, Rockford Christian Life and Rockford
Lutheran joined. In 2003 Rockford Christian and Lutheran left and Lake Forest Academy joined. In 2005 Seton Academy was added. Wheaton
Academy rejoined the football league in 2007. Another school who is a member of the conference but does not participate
in football is Elmhurst Timothy Christian. Melrose Park Walter Lutheran High School was also a member of this league
at one time.
Quad Cities Metro
East Moline, Moline and Rock Island participated in this football conference with the Davenport, Iowa
schools throughout the 1950's and 1960's. Rock Island Alleman joined in 1969 and 1977 was the last for the loop.
Quad County (southwest)
Formed in 1975 with Breese Central, Columbia, Dupo, Freeburg, and Orchard Farm, MO. In 1978, Orchard
Farm, MO left and East St Louis Assumption joined. Madison was added in 1979 and Red Bud in 1981. 1982 was the loop's last football season.
Quad County (southeast)
From Jay Williams:
The Quad County Conference was the precursor to the Mid South Conference (see above).
- Members were Waltonville, Woodlawn, Webber Township, Wayne City, Grayville, Allendale (closed in 1984; now part of Carmi/White County), Crossville (ditto), and Enfield (also closed in 1984; now part of the NCOE school district).
- Conference play ended in 1982-83. Not sure when the conference began.
- Boys basketball was the marquee sport. Some of the schools also offered baseball and/or track. No reference to girls'
This conference was organized in the spring of 1950 with its main purpose being the creation
of 6-man football for the participating schools. The league included Ashton, Byron, Leaf River, Monroe Center, Pecatonica, Stillman Valley, and Winnebago of the Route 72 Conference along with Elburn, Genoa, and Kirkland, Standings were kept for both leagues with games between teams who were members of each league counting in
the standings for both conferences. It is not known at this time when the league dissolved.
Thank you to our good friend Roberta VanBriesen who located this information in a book
about Stillman Valley. THe information comes from a Stillman Valley HS yearbook.
From Mike Young:
The Red Warrior conference was a six team conference. Armstrong won the title in boys basketball 1965-66.
was also a member of this conference.
Formed in 1990 its charter football members were Beardstown, Eureka, Havana, Petersburg Porta, Riverton and
Tremont. Havana left in 1992 and Pittsfield joined in 1993. In 1995 Tremont left and Quincy Notre Dame replaced
them. 1995 proved to be the last football season for this circuit.
Rock River (Valley) Conference
This conference was referred to as either the "Rock River Conference" or the "Rock River Valley Conference." In 1924,
member schools were Dixon, Mt. Morris
, Morrison, Rochelle, Rock Falls and Sterling. In 1929 Dixon, Rochelle and Sterling departed for the newly formed
NCIC. Rochelle rejoined in 1937. Rock Falls left in 1942. The last season for the Rock River Valley was during the late 1940s.
In 1952 the league had 7 football schools Ashton, Byron, Leaf River, Monroe Center, Pecatonica, Stillman Valley and Winnebago. Forreston fielded its first team in 1955 and Monroe Center closed
in 1956. Franklin Center joined the football frays in 1957 and Winnebago left in 1964. Milledgeville replaced them the following season.
The loop's final football battles were waged in 1971. This conference continues play as a junior high athletic conference
with the feeder schools of some of these schools.
The Sangamo Conference was begun in 1925
mainly for high school basketball. It also had schedules in baseball as well
as track and field. For several years it sponsored literary and music contests
in conjunction with an annual track and field meet. The conference even had girls'
basketball schedules and tournaments for three years. Coaches such as B.R.
Redman of Buffalo, Homer Bartholomew of Chatham, Sylvester Long of Dawson and Earl
Cain of Loami helped organize the new league. Its early history has largely
been forgotten because it lasted just 12 years (1925-1937), although it re-emerged in 1939.
went by the name of the Three Year Oratorical and Athletic Association from 1925 thru 1927 (2 seasons), Sangamon County 3-Year
Conference (1927 thru 1936, 9 seasons), and finally it changed its name to the Sangamo Conference for 1936-37 (one season). Its member schools were mostly 3-year high schools. If
a student wished to complete their fourth year they would have to transfer to other high schools in the area. Buffalo did have seniors for a few of those years and in 1936-37 it had seven.
3-year high schools usually did not compete in the annual Sangamon County boys basketball tournament which mostly was restricted
to 4-year public schools. Chatham and Riverton played in the 1927 tourney, with
Chatham finishing in fourth place, but they did not take part in the county tournament again until 1938, after they became
4-year high schools. In Riverton’s debut as a 4-year school in 1938, the Hawks
took the county championship with a 33-31 double overtime win over their old rival Buffalo (Tri-City).
conference high schools and their enrollments in September 1936: Buffalo, 47; Chatham, 44; Dawson, 34; Loami, 40; Mechanicsburg, 31; Riverton, 95; Rochester, which did not compete in the conference in 1936-37, had 46 students.
was the only 3-year conference school to win a postseason District tournament (1936), qualifying for the Regional (in the
days of one-class basketball) and finishing second in that tourney. Because of Illinois
High School (Athletic) Association rules in place at the time, as a runner-up in the Regional, they competed in the Sectional
tournament, where they lost their first game (season record: 18-5). Frank Santarelli
was in his first year as coach at Riverton and would remain at the school until 1957.
1937, the league was disbanded, because of the following: Buffalo, Dawson and
Mechanicsburg consolidated to become Tri-City, based in Buffalo as a 4-year high school; Chatham became a 4-year high school;
Loami remained a 3-year high school; Riverton and Rochester both became 4-year high schools.
schools pursued independent sports schedules for two years and then became members of the reorganized Sangamo Conference in
1939, except for Loami, which did not join the conference, and, in fact, closed its high school in June of 1940.
members of the Sangamo for the 1939-40 school year were: Ball Township (located in
the country, near Glenarm), Buffalo Tri-City, Chatham, New Berlin, Pleasant Plains, Riverton, Rochester and Williamsville. New Berlin became conference basketball champions in 1940 with a 9-2 record, edging
Riverton for the crown. Coach J.V. Kirby’s Pretzels finished with a 23-5
mark in 1940, winning District and Regional titles. Today, New Berlin’s basketball
court is named in honor of Kirby, who coached for 22 years at the school (1926-1948).
and Ball Township consolidated in 1948 to form the Ball-Chatham school district (34 seniors graduated in 1949). Chatham Glenwood replaced Ball Township in 1957, and eventually dropped its membership in the Sangamo. New Berlin also left the conference, which in 2009 consisted of the following: Athens, Buffalo Tri-City, Mason City Illini Central, Mount Pulaski, Petersburg PORTA (Petersburg-Oakford-Rock
Creek-Tallula-Atterberry), Pleasant Plains, Riverton, Rochester and Williamsville. The
Sangamo now offers football and many other sports for boys and several sports for girls.
first football schedule takes place in 2009, with the following schools: Athens, Auburn, New Berlin, Petersburg PORTA,
Pleasant Plains, Riverton, Sangamon Valley (Niantic-Harristown-Illiopolis), and Williamsville.
Tri-City is in a co-op arrangement for football with Sangamon Valley but dropped its membership
in the Sangamo for all other sports. T-C remains in the MSM Conference (Macoupin-Sangamon-Morgan). Rochester will
leave the conference for all sports in 2010 as it joins the large school Central State Eight
basketball titles of those charter members of the conference from 1925 thru 1937:
SEASON CONF. SEASON CHAMP
CONF. TOURNAMENT CHAMP
1925-26 Chatham Chatham
1926-27 Buffalo Buffalo
1927-28 Chatham Chatham
1928-29 Chatham Riverton
1929-30 Chatham Chatham
1930-31 Riverton Riverton
1931-32 Chatham, Riverton (tie)
1932-33 Riverton Riverton
1933-34 Chatham, Mechanicsburg (tie) Chatham
1934-35 Riverton Buffalo
1936-37 Dawson, Riverton (tie) Riverton
tournament in 1936. Buffalo defeated Riverton 23-19 in one game playoff to determine
conference champion. (Loami and Rochester never won any titles.)
was a girls basketball schedule for three seasons (1925 thru 1928), until the IHSA reminded
schools that interscholastic sports for girls had not been allowed since 1908. After
1928 there were no more contests between the schools for girls sports. The IHSA rule
would not be rescinded until 1973. Chatham, Dawson, Mechanicsburg, Riverton and Rochester
all competed under the conference banner. They played
5 vs. 5 on a full court, instead of 2 vs. 2 at each end of the court, and 2 vs. 2 at the center jump, as was the case in Iowa
and some other states. Chatham won two conference regular season championships and three tournament titles, while Riverton claimed the regular
season crown in 1926-27. (Chatham girls, coached by Homer Bartholomew,
were undefeated in 14 games in the 1925-26 school year. He also coached the boys
to the conference titles that same season with a 19-4 record.)
also took part in the conference’s annual literary and music contests from 1926 thru 1933, held the same day as the
boys track and field meets. Buffalo won five track and field titles, Chatham took
three. In literary and music, Buffalo won three, Chatham won two and Rochester
won two. Buffalo and Chatham tied in 1929.
Emily Fullenwider, assistant principal and teacher at Mechanicsburg, coached
the girls basketball team at that school during the 1926-28 seasons. She was the only female coach in the conference.
….submitted by Phil Shadid….May 1, 2009.
Sources: Newspaper microfilm records of the Springfield Illinois State Journal/Register,
and the Buffalo Tri-City Register, available at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.
Formed in 1955, its charter football playing members were Colfax Octavia
, Farmer City
, Fisher, Heyworth, Le Roy, Mahomet-Seymour and Saybrook-Arrowsmith
. In 1958 Mansfield
played its first full loop circuit and in 1962 Deland-Weldon did likewise. In 1969 Saybrook-Arrowsmith
dropped football and Fairbury Cropsey
was added in 1970. In 1971 Farmer City
consolidated and Argenta-Oreana was added. By 1976 Mahomet-Seymour had outgrown the league and left for the Okaw
Valley. Deland-Weldon left in 1981 and Argenta-Oreana left in 1982, the same year Forrest-Strawn-Wing
joined the loop. In 1983 Ford Central
joined and during most of their tenure in the league co-oped in football with Cullom Tri-Point. In 1985 Farmer City-Mansfield
consolidated with Bellflower
and became known as Blue Ridge. Also in 1985, Fairbury-Cropsey
left the league when they consolidated forming Prairie Central. In 1989 Colfax Octavia
consolidated, forming Colfax Ridgeview. In 1990 Gibson City
and Paxton-Buckley-Loda joined the league. In 1992 the Ford Central
/Tri Point football co-op dissolved when Ford Central deactivated and sent its students to either Tri-Point,
Paxton-Buckley-Loda, or Gilman Iroquois West. Cullom Tri-Point hung in there solo for the 1992 season and left in 1993.
Iroquois West joined in 1993 and Gibson City and Melvin-Sibley
consolidated. In 1997, the league had a major revision when Colfax Ridgeview and Heyworth left for the Mid State
and Clifton Central, Hoopeston Area, Milford, Momence, Rossville-Alvin
and Watseka were added and the league went to a 2 division format. In 1999, the Sangamon Valley and the Illini Central
conferences merged for football and the resulting arrangement was known as the Sangamon Illini Alliance from 1999 through
2003. In 2004 and 2005 the Sangamon Valley name was revived with Clifton Central, Iroquois West, Momemce, Paxton-Buckley-Loda,
St Thomas Moore, and Watseka in the Red division and Blue Ridge, Downs-Tri-Valley, Fisher, Gibson City-MS, Le Roy and
Milford in the White division.
The Sangamon Valley will indeed continue as a football-playing league with St. Jo-Ogden, Tri-Point, Watseka, PBL, Momence,
Clifton-Central, Iroquois West and St. Thomas More of Champaign. Details can be found at: http://www.pblunit10.com/jeo/footballsch2006.htm
This league got its name from the first letter of its 5 charter members...S
arlem (Machesney Park), Freeport A
Hononegah and K
irkland-Hiawatha. By 1952 Kirkland-Hiawatha had dropped out and in 1953 Harvard and
Marengo joined. In 1955 Freeport Aquin left and Rockford St. Thomas
joined the loop. North Boone played its first full football season in the league in 1957. Richmond-Burton did likewise in
1958 the same year Loves Park Harlem and Rockford St. Thomas dropped out. In 1960 Alden-Hebron joined but left in
1964 along with Richmond-Burton. These two were replaced that same year with Winnebago and Beloit, WI Catholic. From
1965 through 1968 Beloit, WI Turner also participated in the league's football wars. In 1972 when Winnebago left for
the Mid-Northern conference, Amboy took their place in the conference but left in 1975 to join the newly formed
Three Rivers conference. In 1978 Johnsburg was added. In 1981 - the league's final football season - Beloit
Catholic, North Boone and South Beloit left and the only replacement the league could secure was Woodstock Marian.
SICA (South Inter Conference Association)
Formed in 1973 its 26 charter members were Bloom, Bradley, Bremen, Crete-Monee, Eisenhower, Evergreen Park, Hillcrest,
Homewood-Flossmoor, Kankakee Eastridge
, Lincoln-Way, Oak Forest, Oak Lawn, Reavis, Rich Central, Rich East, Rich South, Richards, Sandburg, Stagg, Thornridge, Thornton,
Thornton Fractional North and South, Thornwood and Tinley Park. In 1976 Bloom Trail
and Shepherd opened. Argo come over from the Illini 8 in 1977 and Andrew opened in 1978. Evergreen Park left in 1982
and Bolingbrook, Lockport and Romeoville joined that same year. In 1983 Joliet Central
both joined and these same two schools consolidated in 1993. Kankakee Eastridge
consolidated in 1983. Bloom Trail left in 1995 and Lincoln-Way East opened in 2001. The conference gradually broke
up during the late 2000s.
The South Central was formed in 1926. Its charter members were Carlinville, Gillespie, Hillsboro, Litchfield,
Mt. Olive, Nokomis, Pana, Shelbyville, Staunton and Taylorville. In 1932 Shelbyville dropped out and in 1934 Litchfield
did also. Benld joined in 1935. In 1944 Hillsboro, Nokomis, Pana and Taylorville dropped out leaving the South Central with just
5 football teams until 1955 when Nokomis rejoined and Piasa SW entered the circuit. In 1961 Piasa SW left and Benld
and Gillespie consolidated which left the South Central with just 5 football playing schools again. In 1963 Springfield Feitshans joined and 1966 Virden did also. In 1967 Feitshans changed its name to Southeast and left
to join the Capitol conference. In 1970 Piasa SW rejoined the league and the membership was stable throughout the 70's. In
1980 Litchfield rejoined and White Hall North Greene was added and Mt. Olive dropped out. In 1985 Nokomis, Virden and White
Hall North Greene left the circuit and Triad was added. In 1993 Triad left and Alton Marquette took its place. In 1997
the league reached its current 12-team, two-division format when Hillsboro and Pana rejoined and Greenville, Roxana, Vandailia
and Wood River were added. Gillespie and Staunton left in the fall of 2009 to join the Prairie State Conference. Football now
has only one division, but for many sports, including baseball, basketball, softball, volleyball, there are two divisions
of five teams.
NOTE: Carlinville has been a member for 83 straight years.
South Central Illinois Athletic
A conference that offered football for sure, in 1927 the member schools included Centralia, Mt. Vernon, Carlyle, Greenville, Sparta, and
Salem. Basketball playing schools in the conference in 1928 included the above mentioned school plus Pinckneyville, DuQuoin,
South Central Prep
Existed for one year only 1970 and featured Aurora Central Catholic, Little Flower Academy, Providence and St Francis De Sales.
From Adam Rosoho:
A conference in southern Illinois. I am not sure when it was formed
but current members include: Cobden, Dongola, Goreville, Joppa (J.-Maple Grove), Mounds (Meridian), Tamms (Egyptian),
Ullin (Century), Wolf Lake (Shawnee).
Goreville will leave the South Egyptian Conference and join the Black Diamond - West Division for the 2011-12 school
year. Cobden will leave the South Egyptian Conference at the end of the 2011-12 school year and become an Independent.Vienna
left the SEC after the 2007-2008 school year to join the Black Diamond Conference. Mounds (Meridian)
joined the conference in the mid 1990's (Not sure of the exact year). Schools offered
boys and girls basketball, fall and spring baseball and softball.
Formed in 1962 its charter members were Bradley, Crete-Monee, Rich Central, Thornton Fractional North, Thornton
Fractional South and Tinley Park. Lockport West joined for the 1965 season only. Newly opened Stagg joined in 1966 and Hillcrest in 1968. 1972 was the
loop's last season.
Submitted by our good friend Adam Rosoho. This conference was formed prior to the 1939-40
school year and incldued the following schools:
Southern Illini (1957-1974)
Eldorado, Johnston City, McLeansboro, Metropolis and Norris City competed in football under the Southern Illini banner from 1957 to 1961. Norris City then dropped football and the
remaining teams competed as independents until 1973 when Albion-Edwards County joined the other 4 programs. Carterville and
Christopher participated in football for the 1974 season only, the league's final season.
Southern Illini (1986-1993)
The Southern Illini banner was resurrected for football with Albion-Edwards County, Martinsville, Oblong,
Palestine, St Elmo and Toledo Cumberland the league's participants. In 1991 Martinsville left and
Marshall joined. In 1992 Palestine left and 1993 was the league's final season as the Southern Illini.
Southern Illinois Conference
Sumbitted by Adam Rosoho. This was a 6-man football conference formed in the 1940s/50s. It included
four teams which played each other twice.
Southern Illinois Conference of Colored High Schools
(from Pat Heston) "This conference was a segregated schools conference and was comprised
three geographic areas.
"To the south
were schools from DuQuoin (Lincoln)
and Carbondale (Attucks)
, as well as Murphysboro (Douglass), Herrin (Colp), Dubois
. Herrin Colp, as it is officially called by the IHSA, was actually not in Herrin,
but in Colp. There is serious question as to whether Dewmaine was a separate school or the same school as Colp.
I have not resolved this. Any help you could provide would be appreciated.
were Cairo (Sumner)
, Mound City (Lovejoy), Mounds (Douglass), Brookport (Lincoln), Metropolis (Dunbar), Sandusky (Young)
and, possibly, Tamms
. Tamms is listed by one researcher as having a segregated school as well as
what is today Tamms (Egyptian), but most old-timers say there was no such school in Tamms that it was, in fact, the school
Robert Pruter adds: "The Southern Illinois Conference of Colored High Schools was formed in
1919....they felt the need to organize themselves into a high school conference so as to regulate the sports and award championships.
Basketball was presumably the first sport contested, but the first post-season tournament was not staged until 1928.
"The Southern Conference schools were not initially members of the Illinois High School Athletic Association
(IHSAA). In 1926, however, the conference began having discussions about establishing a relationship with the state association.
The conference was having difficulty maintaining rules and with finances. In 1927, it adopted the eligibility rules and
conditions of competition as established by the association, and in return it would furnish the Southern Conference team trophies
and inidividual awards of the league's basketball & track and field competitions. In November 1928, the IHSAA Boad
of Control voted to admit the member schools of the Southern Conference, and beginning the following year the member schools
began becoming members of the state association."
It should be noted that not all schools competed together at the same time, adds Pruter. At most, only a dozen competed
at one time. The Southern Conference broke up in 1948 when the schools began to become integrated into the IHSA state tournaments.
Southern Illinois River to River
Formed in 1993, its charter members were placed in two divisions:
The Mississippi contained Anna-Jonesboro, Chester, Du Quoin, Nashville, Pinckneyville and Sparta.
The Ohio contained Benton, Harrisburg, Herrin, Massac County, Murphysboro and West Frankfort.
Carterville joins this conference for the start of the 2010-11 school year.
There has never been an alignment change in the history of this conference.
By 1952 this league consisted of Benton, Centrailia, Harrisburg, Herrin, Marion, Mt. Vernon and West Frankfort. Carbondale
was added in 1965. In 1993 Benton, Harrisburg, Herrin and West Frankfort left for the River to River conference and Edwardsville
and O'Fallon were added. In 1995 Edwardsville left and Cahokia joined and in 2000 O'Fallon left and Belleville Althoff
(Robert Pruter states) The South Suburban Conference
was formed in the winter of 1927 and was a break-away league from
the original Suburban Conference, which collapsed at that time. Original members were Thornton,
Bloom, Blue Island, Kankakee, Calumet City (Thornton Fractional), and Chicago University. In 1938, Summit Argo joined the conference, while Lockport entered the following year as University
exited. As the south suburbs grew, schools grew in size and prestige so that the end of the 1930’s,
the South Suburban was one of the premier conferences in the state.
(Tom Sikorski writes) In 1950, it featured Argo, Bloom, Blue Island, Thornton and Thornton Fractional. Leyden
joined in 1952, Kankakee in 1955 and Lockport in 1956. In 1958 Thornton Fractional split into North and South and left
the conference and Leyden split into East and West and left also. In 1960 Joliet and newly opened Thornridge joined the
loop. In 1962 Blue Island renamed Eisenhower. In 1964 Joliet split into 3 separate schools Central
. In 1966 Argo, Lockport, the 3 Joliet schools and Kankakee all left to charter the Illini 8. Newly opened Richards
was the only replacement. In 1972 newly opened Thornwood joined for the loop's last season.
By 1952 this league consisted of Anna-Jonesboro, Carbondale, Chester, Du Quoin, Murphysboro, Pinckneyville and Sparta. In
1965 Carbondale left and Nashville replaced them. Carlyle participated in the leagues football battles from 1974 to 1984. The
circuit's final football season was 1992.
From Mike Lewter:
"The Southwest Prairie Conference was formed beginning in the 2006-07 school year. It's charter members were Minooka,
Morris, Oswego, Oswego East, Plainfield Central, Plainfield North, Plainfield South, and Romeoville. With the exception of
newly opened Plainfield North and Romeoville, the remaining charter members made up the foundation of the Suburban
Prairie South Conference prior to the founding of the Southwest Prairie. 2008-09 would be the last season for in the SWPC
for Morris who would be moving to the NCIC Regan Division to begin the 2009-10 school year. They would be replaced
in the SWPC by newly opened Plainfield East and the Conference continues to this day with these schools."
Southwest Suburban (1953-1972)
Formed in 1953 its charter football members were Bremen, Oak Lawn, Reavis, Rich Twp and Sandburg. Lincoln-Way joined
in 1954, Evergreen Park in 1955 and Homewood-Flossmoor in 1959. Rich Twp became Rich East in 1962 when that
district split but remained in the conference. 1972 was the loop's last season.
Southwest Suburban (1991-1994)
The Southwest Suburban banner was resurrected in 1991 for a short time by Elmwood Park, Evergreen Park, Lemont, Ridgewood,
Riverside-Brookfield and Westmont.
In 1926, this conference consisted of Alton, Belleville, Collinsville, East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Granite City, Jerseyville
and Wood River. Jerseyville left in 1928 and Edwardsville left sometime between 1932 and 1958. Wood River went Independent
in football in 1953 and rejoined the loop in 1958. In 1953 and 1954 Collinsville and East St. Louis did not schedule each
other in football and technically all of the remaining 5 teams were Independent those two seasons. A full
round robin was restored in 1955. In 1958 Edwardsville was back in. In 1966 Belleville split into East and West
with West remaining in the Southwestern and East an Independent until it joined the league in 1972. In 1971 Wood River
left for good. Cahokia was in the Southwestern from 1972 through 1978. In 1973 Granite City split into North and
South with South remaining in the league until leaving in 1975 and North an Independent. Edwardsville left in 1979 and
returned again in 1996. In 1983 Granite City North
consolidated and rejoined the Southwestern in 1984. East St Louis-Lincoln
was in the league for one year only 1996. O'Fallon became the loop's newest member in 2000. To view even
more of the history of this conference check out http://ballpress.com/conf/~swc.shtml
Alton, Collinsville and East St. Louis, aside of schools that have seen splits, have been members of this conference
for 83 straight years.
The Spoon River conference was formed in 1959 with Beardstown, Bushnell-Prairie City, Havana, Lewistown, Macomb and Rushville
its charter members. In 1974 Macomb left and Petersburg Porta replaced them. Farmington joined in 1976 and
left in 1982 along with Bushnell-Prairie City and Lewistown. Pittsfield and Riverton were added that same year. Rushville
left in 1984 and the 1985 season was the loop's last.
A search of old articles in the Macomb Journal around 1941-42 indicated that there was an earlier incarnation of the
Spoon River Conference around that time with these schools possibly involved: Beardstown, Bushnell
, Farmington, Havana, Lewistown, Macomb, Rushville
(similar to 1976-82 except Macomb and plus
Petersburg PORTA) and possibly Virginia. Later articles and conference standing lists (post-Pearl Harbor) mentioned Farmington
not eligible for conference titles, so the possibility may exist that Farmington may have withdrawn from the original Spoon
River because of World War II and subsequent fuel/tire rationing, etc., only to not return until 1976.
Star League 19?? to 1952
The first year this conference fielded competition in football was 1958 and the 4 schools were Dakota, Durand,
Lena-Winslow and Orangeville. In 1959 Freeport Aquin, Galena, Stockton and Warren joined from the disbanded US Grant
conference. Pearl City joined the football frays in 1960. The last year of competition under the Stephenson
County name was 1962. The conference was renamed Northwest for 1963.
Suburban Catholic (1960-1973)
Formed in 1960 its charter members were Immaculate Conception, Joliet Catholic, Marmion, Notre Dame, St.
Edward and St Procopius. Woodstock Marian and Wheaton St. Francis joined in 1964. Carmel and Holy Cross joined in 1966. In 1967 St. Procopius changed their name to Benet Academy. In 1968 Driscoll and Montini joined. Driscoll
was suspended from the league in 1969 and 1970. In 1970 Joliet Catholic left and 4 new schools were added and the league
divided into divisions with existing members Benet, IC, Marian, Marmion, Montini, St. Edward and St. Francis in the West and
existing members Carmel, Holy Cross, Notre Dame joined by newcomers Marist, St Joseph, St Patrick and St Viator in the East. The
league instituted a championship game between the two division winners from 1970 to 1973. Driscoll was reinstated in 1971
and was added to the West and St Francis De Sales joined that same year and was added to the East. Beginning in 1974
the two divisions of this league formed separate leagues called the East Suburban Catholic and West Suburban Catholic.
Suburban Catholic (present day)
The Suburban Catholic banner was resurrected in 1989 by Driscoll, Immaculate Conception, Marmion, Montini,
St Edward and St Francis. In 1997 Aurora Central Catholic and Woodstock Marian were added.
Suburban League (1914-1974)
(from Robert Pruter) The Suburban League was formed in the fall of 1913 following the dissolution of the Cook County
League. The original members were Evanston, LaGrange, Morgan Park, Morton, New Trier, Oak Park, Proviso, Thornton, and University.
Morgan Park lasted only one year in the league, because shortly after joining the town was annexed into the city of Chicago.
The fall of 1915 saw Deerfield-Shields
(now called Highland Park) and Bloom join the league, and by 1920 Riverside (now Riverside-Brookfield), Waukegan,
and Blue Island (now Eisenhower) were in the league. Kankakee joined in 1922, and Riverside left to join the newly-formed
West Suburban League in 1924.
During most of the history of the Suburban League, however, only five of the schools could be considered athletic powers--namely
Oak Park, New Trier, Evanston, University, and Deerfield-Shields. The schools in the south suburbs were particularly uncompetitive,
and the league tried to accomodate them by providing "B" division competition for the lesser powers. This was done erratically,
but in the fall of 1925, the league formally split into two divisions. Dissatisfaction continued and the following year, the
The traditional powers--Oak Park, New Trier, Evanston, LaGrange, Deerfield-Shields, and strongly emerging Proviso and
Waukegan continued to compete against each other informally, although the newspapers continued to recoginize "Suburban League
championships" in some sports from amont those schools. Finally in March of 1928, the Suburban League was formally organized
again with six members--Oak Park, New Trier, Evanston, LaGrange, Deerfield-Shields, and Proviso. The league actually
began operation in the fall of 1928.
Throughout the history of the "original" Suburban League, Oak Park was obviously the dominate power in most all the sports.
New Trier managed to carve out a turf in swimming, Evanston in basketball, University in track and field and in tennis, and
Deerfield-Shields in golf. Morton was beginning to emerge as a basketball power in the mid-1920's.
Tom Sikorski adds: By 1950, the league's roster featured Evanston, Highland Park,
Morton, New Trier, Oak Park, Proviso and Waukegan (rejoined the league in 1934). Niles was added in 1952. District splits
changed Proviso to Proviso East in 1959, Morton to Morton East and Niles to Niles East in 1961 and New Trier to New Trier
East in 1966. Highland Park and Niles East left in 1972, and 1974 was the last football season for this league.
Submitted by Mike Lewter:
"The Suburban Prairie Conference was formed in the 1995-96 school year and was composed of 18 schools.. Elmwood Park,
Evergreen Park, Lemont, Norridge Ridgewood, Riverside-Brookfield and Westmont from the Southwest Conference, Batavia,
Geneva, Maple Park Kaneland, Minooka, Morris, Oswego, Plainfield, Sycamore and Yorkville from the Little 7 Conference
along with Bensenville Fenton, Glen Ellyn Glenbard South and Herscher. The conference would be divided into three color
coded divisions by enrollment.The first season saw the following divisions. SPC Red (biggest enrollments) Batavia,
Fenton, Glenbard South, Minooka, Oswego, Plainfield. SPC White (mid sized enrollments) Elmwood Park, Geneva, Lemont, Morris,
Riverside-brookfield, Sycamore, SPC Blue (smallest enrollments) Evergreen Park, Herscher, Kaneland, Ridgewood, Westmont and
In the 1998-99 the SPC downsized divisions eliminating the SPC Blue although the conference continued with 18 schools
in a new two color coded division format which was: SPC Red- Batavia, Fenton, Geneva, Glenbard South, Minooka, Morris,
Oswego, Plainfield and SPC White-Elmwood Park, Evergreen Park, Herscher, Kaneland, Lemont, Ridgewood, Riverside-Brookfield,
Sycamore, Westmont and Yorkville..
In 2002-03 Herscher left the SPC White to join the Corn Belt Conference and was replaced by Morris who moved
over from the SPC Red. Morris was replaced in the SPC Red by a new school Plainfield South. Format change came again in 2003-04
when the SPC returned to three six school divisions but changed from color coded designations to geographical
which were: SPC East- Elmwood Park, Evergreen Park, Fenton, Ridgewood, Riverside-Brookfield, and Westmont, SPC North-Batavia,
Geneva, Glenbard South, Kaneland, Sycamore and Yorkville, SPC South- Lemont, Minooka, Morris, Oswego, Plainfield Central,
Plainfield South. In 2005-06, in what would be the final season for the Suburban Prairie Conference, Evergreen Park left
the SPC East for the SICA Green Conference and was replaced by Lemont who moved over from the SPC South. Oswego East, a newly
opened school took Lemont's place in the SPC South.
The SPC disbanded after the 2005-'06 season. The SPC South formed most of a new conference, the Southwest Prairie, the
SPC North chartered the new Western Sun Conference. From the SPC East Elmwood Park, Fenton, Ridgewood, and
Riverside-Brookfield chartered the new Metro Suburban Conference while Lemont moved into the South Suburban Blue Conference
and Westmont joined the Interstate Eight Conference small division."
The SWANI conference (short for Southern Wisconsin And
Northern Illinois) was formed in 1946 and featured Harvard, Marengo and McHenry in Illinois
and 5 Wisconsin schools (Burlington, Delavan, Elkhorn, Lake Geneva and Whitewater). Harvard and Marengo left for the
Shark conference in 1953 and McHenry joined the North Suburban that same year.
Formed in 1975 the members were Amboy, Erie, Fulton, Morrison, Port Byron-Riverdale, Prophetstown, Savanna and Sterling Newman. In the 24 years of its existence there were no alignment changes in this conference. Its
final football season was 1998, and by that time Savanna had left and Prophetstown and Erie co-oped. The remaining schools'
football teams formed the Big Rivers Conference Mississippi division.
The conference has continued on in
other sports. Kewanee joined in 2010.
From Rick Shertz, 1988 graduate of San Jose High School:
"Mt Pulaski, Illini Bluffs, Delavan, San Jose
, Mason City
, Hartem, Tremont, and Green Valley
(1988). I also know that at one time Havana and DeeMack were members."
adds that Greenview High School and Athens High School are both newer members of the Tomahawk conference with Athens
joining the fray in the fall of 2015.
Formed in 1982 with Alden-Hebron, Kirkland Hiawatha, North Boone, Rockford Lutheran and South Beloit.
Wheaton Christian participated in football in 1983 only. 1984 was the final season for this short-lived conference.
Tri County (far northeast)
Formed in 1957 its charter members were Elmwood Park, Fenton, Glenbrook, Lake Park, North Chicago and Palatine. Glenbrook
and Palatine left in 1959. New schools joined - Mundelein in 1960, Cary-Grove and Ridgewood in 1962, Crown
and Wheaton North in 1965, Glenbard South in 1973, and Wheaton-Warrenville
in 1974. The league also experienced the following departures - North Chicago in 1964, Cary-Grove in 1967,
Crown and Mundelein in 1973. When Elmwood Park, Fenton, Lake Park and Ridgewood left in 1974 the league was down
to 4 teams and 1974 was its last.
Tri County (far south)
Tri County (north central)
(Our gratitude goes out to Marcia Burroughs for providing all of the information on this conference!)
The Tri County Conference began in 1927 with the member schools of: Hennepin
, McNabb Swaney, Tonica
, and Varna
. It has changed many times over the years to include De Pue, Toluca
, Lostant, Lacon
. Many of the rural schools combined over the years to form new schools. Examples include the combination of Magnolia
and Swaney to form Magnolia-Swaney which then combined with Hopkins and Hennepin to form Putnam County. Other such
combinations include the joining of Roanoke and Benson for the current Roanoke-Benson rivals. There were the combinations
of Lacon and Varna form the Mid County School
which then joined Sparland to create the current Midland school. Henry and Putnam joined to form the current Henry-Senachwine
school district. Lowpoint
joined to form our current Lowpoint-Washburn rivals. Rutland, Toluca, and Wenona joined the already combined schools
to form the Fieldcrest school district. (Fieldcrest is not a member of the current Tri-County Conference). We have
also seen Eureka, Ottawa Marquette, Bradford
, Bureau Valley, St. Bede (Peru), Peoria Christian, and Streator Woodland in this conference. The Tri County currently
consists of Henry-Senachwine, Lowpoint-Washburn, Ottawa Marquette, MIdland, Peoria Christian, Putnam County, Roanoke-Benson,
Peru St. Bede, and Streator Woodland.
school conference active in the 1930s and 1940s for certain. Four teams are known to have competed in this conference. They
included the high schools of Chestnut, Congerville, Emden, and Shirley Ben Funk. Basketball was definitely a sport, baseball
and track were likely also a part of the annual contests held.
Tri State (1932-35)
Macomb, Quincy, Canton (MO), Fort Madison (IA), Hannibal (MO), Keokuk (IA), Kirksville (MO).
Two C's / Three C's
The Two C's conference, with the C standing for Counties, was formed in 1949 by Arenzville, Chandlerville and Meredosia from Cass County and Franklin and Jacksonville Routt from Morgan county. The following year, the conference
was renamed Three C's with the addition of Scott county schools Bluffs and Chapin Virginia also from Cass county joined in 1950. This conference played its last football in 1953. Most
of the schools reorganized under the PMBC Conference banner in 1954.
Two Rivers 19?? to 1958
Annawan, Atkinson, Cordova, Erie, Hillsdale, Lyndon, Mineral, Port Byron, Prophetstown, Tampico were the teams who competed in basketball for many years. Six schools in the Two Rivers participated in football
by 1952-Annawan, Erie, Hillsdale, Port Byron, Prophetstown and Tampico. In 1956 Port Byron and Hillsdale consolidated
forming Riverdale. Mineral played football in the league from 1949 to 1951. The schools played
the six-man version during those years to accomodate Mineral's small numbers. 1958 was the final football
season under the Two Rivers banner.
Formed in 1958 the charter members were Dwight, Fairbury-Cropsey, Morris and Streator Woodland. Marseilles joined in 1960. The last season for football in this loop was 1963.
Formed in 1963 its charter members were DeKalb, East Aurora, Elgin, Elgin Larkin, Glenbard East,
Naperville, West Aurora and Wheaton. In 1965 Glenbard East left and was replaced by St. Charles. That same year
Wheaton officially became Wheaton Central when that district split. Naperville and Wheaton Central left in 1975 and Lake Park
and new school Streamwood were added in 1979. Waubonsee Valley joined in 1991 and West Aurora left in 1997. New schools
Bartlett and Neuqua Valley joined in 1998 and St. Charles North in 2001. The original St. Charles HS became known as St. Charles
East. De Kalb left the conference in 2005. South Elgin joined the conference in 2006. Aurora Metea Valley,
Batavia, and Geneva joined in 2010.
Upstate Illini (1974 to 1976)
This version of the Upstate Illini was formed in 1974 by Ashton, Durand, Franklin Center, Hanover, Leaf River, Milledgeville, Mt. Carroll, Orangeville, Pearl City and Rockford Lutheran. In 1976 Hanover dropped football and Rockford Lutheran left
Upstate Illini (1991 to 2000)
The Upstate Illini name was resurrected in 1991 with (in football terms) Durand, North Boone, Pearl
City, Rockford Lutheran, South Beloit and Warren-RR in the North and Ashton-FC, Kirkland-Hiawatha, Milledgeville, Mt. Carroll, and Polo in the South. In 1993 Mt. Morris dropped out and Huntley joined and the divisions were realigned
into East - Durand, Huntley, K-H, North Boone, Rock Lutheran and South Beloit and West - A-FC, Milledgeville, Mt Carroll,
Pearl City, Polo and Warren-RR. In 1995 Huntley and Pearl City dropped out and Pecatonica was added to the East division
and East Dubuque, Forreston and La Moille were added to the West Division while A-FC moved from the West division to the East.
In 1996 the NW Illinois conference and Upstate Illini merged under the Upstate Illini banner. Three divisions were formed
West - Dakota, E Dubuque, Galena, L-W, Orangeville, Stockton and Warren-RR. East - A-FC, Durand, K-H, N Boone, Pecatonica,
Rock Lutheran and S Beloit. South - Forreston, Freeport Aquin, Lanark-PC coop, Milledgeville, Mt Carroll and Polo. In
1999 Savanna was added to the South Division and Rockford Christian Life to the East Division. The year 2000 was the
last year under the Upstate Illini name. Six schools left in 2001 to form the Four Rivers conference and the remaining
schools realigned under the Northwest Upstate Illini name.
In 1950 this conference had 5 football schools East Dubuque, Galena, Stockton and Warren in Illinois plus
St Columbkill of Dubuque, Iowa. In 1953 Shulsburg, Wisconsin joined the loop making this a unique circuit with schools
from 3 different states. Freeport Aquin joined in 1955 and the conference played its final football in 1958.
In 1952 for football the Valley consisted of Biggsville, Joy, Keithsburg, Kirkwood, Little York and Media Wever. In 1954 Gladstone-Oquawka was added and in 1955 Joy left for the Corn Belt conference. In 1958 New Boston and Monmouth Warren were added and Gladstone-Oquawka played an independent schedule in football
for this one season only. In 1959 Stronghurst joined and with G-O back in made for a 9 team circuit the leagues final football season. In
1960 Biggsville and Gladstone-Oquawka consolidated forming Biggsville Union. Little York and Kirkwood consolidated forming Monmouth Yorkwood. New Boston and Keithsburg consolidated with Joy forming
Joy Westmer which continued in the Corn Belt conference. This left 5 football-playing schools and the new conference
was called the Bi County.
Vermilion Valley (old)
In 1950, 6 Vermillion Valley schools fielded football teams: Chatsworth, Cullom
, Herscher, Onarga
. Piper City
added football in 1952. In 1954 Herscher dropped out and Kempton-Cabery
fielded their first team. Onarga Military
joined in 1956. Gilman
joined in 1962 and the league reached its maximum of 10 teams. Cullom
consolidated in 1968 forming Cullom Tri-Point. Onarga Military
dropped football in 1969 and Saunemin
did likewise in 1970. Milford
was added in 1972. In 1980 Onarga
dropped football and
in 1981 Chatsworth
did likewise which doomed the league. Its last season for football was 1981.
As Michael Rich tells us, the V.V.C. did continue on after football ceased:
"The V.V. continued on as a strong small-school conference for a few more years. Teams in the mid to late 80’s included Saunemin, Tri-Point, Ford Central, Odell, Reddick, Mazon-Verona-Kinsman, Forest-Strawn-Wing, Gardner-South Wilmington, Chatsworth and Melvin-Sibley. In 1987, Saunemin and Odell
annexed into Pontiac High School and that signaled the end to the VV.
It lasted a year or two longer, then went completely defunct."
Vermillion Valley (present day)
In 2004 the Vermillion Valley conference name was resurrected for football with Bismark-Henning, Danville Schlarman,
Fithian-Oakwood, Georgetown-Ridge Farm, Hoopeston Area, Westville and the Salt Fork coop (Catlin/Sidell-Jamaica) forming the
new circuit. Milford joined in the fall of 2006, which rounded them out at 8 teams (Oakwood, Bis-Hen, Georgetown-RF,
Schlarman, Salt Fork, Hoopeston, Westville, Milford) for football as Rossville-Alvin
ceased to be in 20053. Chrisman is a non-football member of the league. Prior to taking the field
the "working title" of the new VVC was the "Route 1 Conference"
Formed in 1928 its charter members were Gibson City, Gilman, Melvin
, Milford, Onarga, Paxton
, Rantoul and Watseka. Melvin left in 1930 and Momence took their place. Momence and Milford both left in 1935. Gilman
sat out in 1936 but rejoined the football wars the following season. Milford rejoined in 1939. Onarga left in 1941
and Gilman left for good in 1943. The league suspended football operations for one season 1946 but resumed competition
in 1947 with Milford leaving for good and Onarga Military
and LeRoy joining. In 1949 LeRoy left and Hoopeston
replaced them. In the early 1950's Tolono Unity was also a member of the Wauseca however they always played an independent
schedule in football until joining the Okaw Valley in 1958. In 1955 Onarga Military left and was replaced in 1956 by
Fithian-Oakwood. Danville Schlarman joined in 1963 and Fithian-Oakwood left in 1971. In 1974 Rantoul left and Georgetown
and Westville joined. Clifton Central joined the football frays in 1980 and in 1985 major upheaval when Danville Schlarman,
Georgetown and Westville left for the Illini Central and only Iroquois West could be recruited as a replacement. In 1986
Prairie Central joined and 1989 proved to be the loop's last.
Our site author Beau Spencer brought us this gem. Here are the Wenois Conference
members from 1939-40 season (basketball):
The West Central conference was formed in 1969 with Brown County, Camp Point Central, Carthage
, Hamilton, Mendon Unity and Warsaw its charter football members. The first new addition to the football wars was
in 1984. There was no West Central conference in 1998, the leagues teams participated under the Western Illinois conference
banner. The West Central name was restored in 1999 with the previous 7 teams plus Beardstown, Pittsfield and the Sciota NW/La Harpe
coop forming a 10 team loop. In 2003 Colchester
joined the Sciota NW/LaHarpe
coop and it was renamed West Prairie. In 2004 Hamilton and Warsaw
began the West Hancock coop and the Biggsville Union
coop addition kept this a 10 team circuit. In 2005 both Brown County and the Biggsville/Stronghurst coop left
and Pleasant Plains was added. 2005 also was the last under the West Central banner as the league's teams joined
the Western Illinois mega conference in 2006.
Formed in 1974 the charter football playing members were Astoria, Bluffs, Industry
, Jacksonville ISD, Meredosia-Chambersburg, Table Grove VIT and Virginia. In 1980 Industry dropped football and Pleasant
Hill replaced them in 1981. Bluffs dropped football in 1983 and New Berlin joined in 1985. From 1985 through 1991 Jacksonville
ISD played and Independent schedule in football. Astoria and Table Grove VIT left in 1992 and Palmyra NW joined that same
year. 1996 was the loop's final season.
Western Big 6
Played its first official football season in 1972, the charter members were East Moline, Galesburg, Moline, Quincy, Rock
Island and Rock Island Alleman. There has never been an alignment change in the history of this conference.
Western Illinois Valley
Formed in 1975 the charter football playing members were Carrollton, Concord Triopia, Hardin-Calhoun, Jacksonville Routt,
New Berlin and Winchester. Greenfield played it first football in the league the following season 1976. New Berlin
left in 1977. White Hall North Green joined in 1985. In 1997 the league added 5 new schools and divided into two divisions. In
the North existing members Concord Triopia, Jacksonville Routt and Winchester were joined by newcomers Jacksonville ISD,
Meredosia-Chambersburg and Virginia. In the South existing members Carrollton, Greenfield, Hardin Calhoun and White Hall
North Green were joined by newcomers Palmyra NW and Pleasant Hill. In 2004 Concord Triopia and Meredosia-Chambersburg
began co-oping in football and Springfield Ursuline
filled the vacancy for one season only before dropping football. Brown County became the league's
newest member in 2005. Bunker Hill joined the South Division of this conference in 2006-07.
This short-lived conference began in 2006 and ended in 2010 with Batavia, DeKalb, Geneva, Glen Ellyn Glenbard
South, Kaneland, Rochelle, Sycamore and Yorkville.
Formed in 1922 its charter members were Downers Grove, Glenbard, Hinsdale, Maine, West Chicago and York. Riverside-Brookfield
was added in 1928. In 1935 Lyons Township joined and West Chicago left. Arlington
joined in 1951. District splits changed Maine to Maine East and Glenbard to Glenbard West in 1960, Downers Grove
to Downers Grove North in 1965 and Hinsdale to Hinsdale Central in 1966. Also in 1966 Arlington left and Proviso West
joined. Maine East left in 1972 and in 1975 Oak Park and Proviso East joined. Riverside-Brookfield left in 1982.
In 1986 the league absorbed the remaining Des Plaines Valley League teams and split into 2 divisions. Placed in the Silver
division were existing members Downers Grove North, Glenbard West, Hinsdale Central, Lyons Twp, Oak Park, Proviso
West and York. Placed in the Gold division was existing member Proviso East plus newcomers Addison Trail, Downers Grove South,
Hinsdale South, Leyden, Morton and Willowbrook.
York, aside of schools that have seen splits, has been a member of this conference for almost 90 straight
Western Suburban Athletic Conference (1903-10)
(from Robert Pruter) The Western Suburban Athletic Association seemed
to have been formed for the sole purpose of conducting an annual track and field meet in each spring. Clyde, LaGrange, and Riverside were at times members of the
Cook County League, and participated in some of the league’s activities. However, these
schools were relatively small compared to the city schools that dominated the competition, and they needed
to find competition on their own level. Most of the schools were too small to form football teams, but
basketball and baseball were not out of the question. The wonder is that these schools did not expand the league’s program beyond the track and field meet. Other member schools included Hinsdale and Downers Grove.
West Suburban Catholic
Formed in 1974 by the members of the Suburban Catholic West division, the charter members were Benet, Driscoll, Immaculate
Conception, Woodstock Marian, Marmion, Montini, St Edward and Wheaton St Francis. Woodstock Marian left in 1981 and Providence
joined in 1987. The last football season under the West Suburban Catholic banner was 1988.
Western Athletic (1908-1921)
(from Robert Pruter) There was no Western Academic League or Midwest League, but rather a group of independent schools, most formerly members of the Academic League,
which broke up in 1910, that competed
against each other for bragging rights of the area. As in the East, where there was a weaker tradition of forming conferences, the schools
played independent schedules and made claims for championships, which while titular were duly credited by the newspapers of the day.
(Evanston Academy, Morgan Park Military Academy, Lake Forest Academy, and Culver Military Academy of Culver, IN)
occasionally played Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Indiana schools, but in no sense could their claims
as champions be said to represent all of the Midwest. Football championships were claimed by these schools in 1908, while other sports titles were claimed in 1911. The last school year that championship claims were
made among these four schools was in
1920-21 when Lake Forest swept in football, basketball, baseball, and track & field.
In 1959 the old Olympic teams realigned and resurrected the Wilco conference name. Charter football
members were Astoria, Avon, Industry, La Harpe, Sciota NW, Spoon River Valley and Table Grove VIT. La Harpe left in 1962 for the La Moine Valley and in 1963
Cuba joined for football. In 1972 Sciota NW left for the Bi County conference and the leagues final football season was
This cleverly named conference existed from 1954 to 1959 getting its name from the 3 counties it drew
its members from Will, Iroquois and Kankakee. The 7 members that had formed the Kankakee Valley
in 1953 were the charter members-Bradley, Clifton Central, Crete, Gilman, Kankakee St Patrick,
Momence and St Anne. Gilman moved out to the Kan-Wil in 1958 and Wilmington took
their place. Bradley outgrew the league and left in 1959. The remaining members formed
a revamped Kankakee Valley conference for 1960.