You may have read that this past Monday, the board of the West Chicago Community High School District voted to authorize West Chicago to withdraw from the DuPage Valley Conference and join the Metro Suburban Conference.
A little history: West Chicago has been in the DVC since the league began play in the fall of 1975. The eight original DVC members were:
There was some press coverage at the time to the extent that seven of the schools had decided to form the conference and were looking for an eighth, and that school became West Chicago, which must have been riding the high of their state football championship in 1974. Apparently St. Charles was their second choice.
Wheaton-Warrenville High School closed at the end of the 1982-83 school year. Glenbard East left the DesPlaines Valley League to take W-W’s spot in the DVC. As this happened before the internet era (and, in fact, before most news sources have archives available online) you’d have to do some work to find out if there were any other applicants and who they might have been. In any event, at the time, the conference had been in existence for less than ten years and certainly didn’t have the reputation that it now has.
That’s not the case, however, for the last time a spot in the DVC opened up. Glenbard South was the smallest school in the DVC by not a little bit, and decided in 1995 that it would withdraw and join the Suburban Prairie Conference. Press reports say that there were three finalists- Lake Park, Waubonsie Valley, and West Aurora. While there was some interest in Waubonsie Valley, it was apparently not selected because it was known that the school was going to split, and that the school board wanted both high schools in the same conference. That meant either a 9 team league or another vacancy in short order, and the DVC wanted neither. It came down to Lake Park and West Aurora, and the DVC chose West Aurora, who left the Upstate Eight and joined the DVC as soon as they were able to do so.
So what happens now? It’s no secret that Lake Park hasn’t exactly been a happy camper in the Upstate Eight, although they have been there since 1979. In addition to flirtations with the Mid-Suburban League and the 1995 DVC application, it’s been reported that they tried to engineer a conference swap with West Chicago in 2005 but WeGo backed out. Is this the opening that finally gets then into the DVC?
The DVC has stated that they want to remain an eight team conference, but, let’s say that the three D204 schools find a couple more willing partners and come to the DVC with a plan that would split it into two six team divsions, one of which would be the two Napervilles, Metea Valley, Neuqua Valley, Waubonsie Valley, and West Aurora?
Is there a “mystery school” that captures the DVC’s fancy much like West Aurora did the last time?
In any event, one of the most competitive conferences in the state is poised to become even more competitive now that their weak sister has elected to leave the fold.
What would YOU do if you were the DVC?