Great Conferences

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 .

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.

ABC League

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 League.

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 Evans).

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,” “Midwest champion,” “state 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 sports competition.

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.

Bi County 

Formed in 1960, its charter football members were Biggsville UnionMedia WeverMonmouth 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 NW 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:

“I found an article of interest on the Big 6 conference (attached). This conference in northwest Illinois included two high schools from Iowa.”

The article sent by Mr. Scheetz was located in the October 07, 1922 addition of the Aurora Beacon News. The article reads as follows:

“Big Six Is Formed After Big 7 Plan”

“Four 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:

Macomb, 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.”


Big 7

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.”

The following 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 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.


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.

Big 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.

– In 2014, Johnsburg returned to the conference and Dixon became a new member.
– In 2016, five members (Burlington Central, Harvard, Johnsburg, Marengo, Richmond-Burton) left to form the Kishwaukee River Conference.
– In 2018, Rockford Christian left the conference in football but stayed for all other sports, playing in the Northeast Athletic Conference in football.
– In 2021, Mendota left to join the Three Rivers Conference.  Rockford Christian returned to the BNC for football.

Big 12

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.

Bi-County (1917-19)

(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.

Black Diamond  

View this conference’s current website at

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 as well.

The conference was later formed by 5 former members of the Coal Belt in 1955 -Carterville, Christopher, ElkvilleSesser and Ziegler. 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,  SesserZeigler, 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.

Blackhawk (West)

By 1952 this conference had 8 schools playing football: Bradford, Elmwood, Galva, Kewanee Wethersfield, Princeville, ToulonWalnut 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.

Baseball, 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.

Between 1934 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.

The 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.”

Blackhawk (North)

Formed in 1947, its charter members were LanarkMt. CarrollMt. 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.

Blackhawk (Wisconsin)

Hanover 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.


A small school basketball league located in the counties it was named for. The B.L.P. Conference consisted of an ‘Varsity’ League and a ‘B’ League. The league existed in 1939 and was still in progress in 1948, but the beginning and end of the league are not known. Varsity teams competing included Lee Center, Ohio, Bureau TownshipHennepin, LaMoille, and Malden. The ‘B’ league, for 3-year high schools and the second teams of the 4-year high schools, consisted of Cherry (3 year), Ohio, Lee Center, Bureau Township, Hennepin, LaMoille, Leepertown (Bureau Junction 3-year), and Malden.

Bureau-Lee-Putnam Conference Standings 1939
A page of a book

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Bureau Valley

Brian Piper 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 LaMoilleMaldenManliusNeponset, and Ohio.

More historical information regarding the BVC was provided by Clay Haurberg:

“The Walnut High School board of education approved participation in the new BVC conference. “Walnut, along with six other schools, Manlius, Ohio, LaMoille, Malden, Tampico, and Wyanet have formed a new conference called the Bureau Valley Conference. The conference does not replace existing conferences. The Bureau Valley Conference will sponsor a track meet in May of 1974 and a single round basketball schedule in 1974-75.”

Also, looking at boys basketball conference standings from old editions of the Dixon Evening Telegraph, it is evident that Neponset was added for the 1976-77 season, as they did not appear in standings from either 1974-75 or 1975-76. This gave the conference an 8th team.

Malden dropped from the league when their high school was deactivated in 1983, bringing the league membership back to 7 teams (LaMoille, Manlius, Neponset, Ohio, Tampico, Walnut, and Wyanet).

 From my own clippings, yearbooks, and memory:

The league remained active with those seven teams until its break up in 1988-89. My evidence for this is as follows:

While playing for Walnut HS during my freshman and sophomore years, our fresh-soph boys basketball squad were the runner-up in the Bureau Valley Conference in 1987-88, and in 1988-89 we won the BVC F-S Boys Basketball Championship (I still have the trophy!).

I am fairly certain the league did not exist after that, as in 1989-90 Neponset joined the Indian Valley Conference, meaning every team in the BVC was also in the IVC, and I do not have any record of us playing any games in the BVC during my junior and senior seasons. When this happened, I’m sure the BVC was disbanded because it did not offer competition in football.”


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 football.

Mississippi Division of 2007 included: Breese Central, Carlyle, Columbia, Freeburg, Red Bud, Trenton-Wesclin

Kaskaskia Division: Dupo, Lebanon, Marissa, New Athens, Steeleville, Valmeyer

For more information check out

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 CathedralSpringfield 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.

Central Eqyptian

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

Central Illinois

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.

The following historical information regarding the Central State 8 was provided by Ryan Mahan:

“The Central State 8 was formed in 1993 and from 1993 through the 2009-10 school year, it was an eight-team conference: Chatham Glenwood, Jacksonville, Lincoln, Springfield Lanphier, Springfield SH-Griffin, Springfield Southeast, Springfield High and Taylorville. In 2010, Rochester joined and it was a nine-team league through the 2013-14 school year, after which Taylorville left to re-join the Apollo Conference.

The league became a 10-team conference in the 2014-15 school year with the addition of Decatur Eisenhower and Decatur MacArthur. Lincoln left to join the Apollo after the 2016-17 school year and was replaced by Normal University.

It remains a 10-team league and despite the changes in member size, it continues to be called the “Central State Eight Conference.”

Central Suburban

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 EastWaukegan East and West 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.

B.M. Pieper advises The Chartes Conference – which won 5 Regionals in 1972 included:

Gibault Hawks

Marissa Meteors

Steeleville Warriors

Valmeyer Pirates

St Henry’s Prep Eagles

New Athens Yellowjackets

Coulterville Golden Eagles (Who had an all-stater by the name of Green in 1972.)

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)AlverniaAquinasLoretto HighLoretto AcademySt. Catherine (Siena)St. Mary, St. Scholastica, St. XavierVisitationEvanston 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):

Catholic Parish League included St. Gregory, Saint Michael CentralSt. DominickCathedral HighSt. MalachyMercy MissionAngel GuardianLittle FlowerSt. Willibrord and Saint Benedict’s. The league ran roughly from

1953 to 1964. Basketball and track were definitely offered. Baseball and other sports likely offered as well.

Chicagoland Prep

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 FarmersvilleMorrisonvilleRaymondGlenwoodEdinburgand Mt. Auburn. Basketball was definitely played, including regular season and tournament champions crowned each year.

Coal Belt

The Coal Belt was formed in 1946 as researched by Adam Rosoho. The conference’s final year for football was 1949 with Carbondale U-High, Carterville, Christopher, ElkvilleHurst Bush,  Sesser and Ziegler the participating members.

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.

Coal Valley

From long-time Coal City and Gardner South Wilmington announcer Don Phillips:

“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’DellMazon – 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 TrainingSouth DivisionWest DivisionLakeManual 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.

Calumet 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.

Parker 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, ViolaWinola, Williamsfield and Woodhull-Alwood. Reynolds joined in 1953. In 1955 Williamsfield dropped football and Joy was added. In 1957 consolidations changed Reynolds to Taylor Ridge-Rockridge. In 1960 Joy consolidated with New Boston and Keithsburg 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.

East Central

Played its first football in 1955 and the charter members were Broadlands ABLCatlinHomerRossville-Alvin, Ridge FarmSt. 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.

East Okaw

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, HomerNewman 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 started 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.

Eastern Illinois

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 consolidated 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)

Cary-Grove, Crown, 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.

– In 2006, Johnsburg joined the conference and Grayslake split into Grayslake Central and Grayslake North.  Now with 12 schools, the conference split into two divisions: the 6 smaller schools in the Fox Division and the 6 larger schools in the Valley Division.
– In 2009, Woodstock North opened and joined the FVC
– Hampshire joined the FVC in 2011
– Johnsburg left in 2014
– Woodstock and Woodstock North left in 2016 to form the Kishwaukee River Conference with 5 former Big Northern Conference schools.  Grayslake Central and Grayslake North left to form the Northern Lake County Conference with 6 former North Suburban Conference schools.  With only 9 schools remaining, the FVC removed its divisions.
– Burlington Central joined the FVC in 2019.

Gateway East

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.

Greater Egyptian

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

In 1968, the GEC consisted of Norris Ciity (Norris City left the GEC when the consolidated with Enfield), Cave In Rock, Galatia, ShawneetownRidgway, Pope County, Rosiclare, and Equality

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 current members.

Schools offer Boys Basketball, baseball, some offer girls basketball, volleyball, softball, track, and cross country.

Greater Midwestern

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.

Greater Peoria

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.

Green River Valley Conferece This conference was located in Lee and Ogle counties. Participating members included Steward, Paw Paw, Compton, Kings, Lee Center, Lee, Franklin Grove, and Rollo.


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.

Illini Central

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.

Illini 8

Formed in 1966 by Argo, Joliet CentralJoliet EastJoliet WestKankakee EastridgeKankakee Westview, Lockport Central and Lockport West. Both of the Kankakee schools left in 1968 and in 1970 Joliet Catholic and Marian Catholic joined. In 1971 Lockport West changed their name to Romeoville. Newly opened Bolingbrook joined in 1975 and Argo left in 1977. The loop’s last season was 1981.

Illini Valley

This loop offered 6-man football in the early 1950’s and the participating members were Fisher, HomerLongviewMahometMansfieldSt JosephSidell, and Urbana University High. 1954 was the final football season.

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. Below is a newspaper clipping regarding the IVY Conference football standings in 1930.


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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, Glenwood School, 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 and Tiskilwa from the Little 8 plus BradfordBuda WesternManlius and Walnut 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 and Tampico

In 1981 Ohio dropped football and Wyoming was added to the East division for the 1982 season. In 1988 Atkinson 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 and Wyoming 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, PotomacRossville-AlvinBuckley-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.

Kankakee Valley

In 1950 the Kankakee Valley football conference consisted of Bradley, CreteKankakee 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.

Kishwaukee River Conference (new conference formed in 2016) (Submitted by Robert Wiltshire)
– The original lineup was Burlington Central, Harvard, Johnsburg, Marengo, Richmond-Burton, Woodstock, and Woodstock North.
– Burlington Central left in 2019 to join the Fox Valley Conference.
– In 2021, the KRC entered into a football partnership with the Interstate 8 Conference where the 7 largest schools across the two conferences would play in one division and the 7 smallest schools would play in another.

La Moine Valley

In 1952 for football the league consisted of Hamilton, IndustryLa HarpeMacomb WesternSciota 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):

Green ValleyWapellaNew Holland-MiddletownEastonSan Jose, Hartem (Hartsburg-Emden), and Greenview were all members of this conference.

Lincoln Trail

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, BiggsvilleWestmerWarren 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.

Little Egypt

A small school basketball and track conference in the southern portion of Illinois.  Members from 1967-70 included Ashley High SchoolTamaroa High SchoolDahlgren 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,

TrivoliYates 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 Five (1923-1939) (Submitted by Timothy Wiltshire)
– The conference existed under many names, including Little Five, North Six, North Four, and possibly also just simply the McHenry County Conference for a period of time.
– The original lineup in the 1923-24 school year consisted of Belvidere, Crystal Lake, Harvard, Marengo, and Woodstock.
– McHenry joined the conference in the spring of 1925 and began playing football in the conference the following fall.
– Belvidere left the conference in 1926 after getting into a feud with Harvard over a cancelled basketball game.
– McHenry left in 1932.  The “North Four” of Crystal Lake, Harvard, Marengo, and Woodstock continued as a conference until 1939
– In 1939, Crystal Lake and Woodstock left to join the newly formed Northeast Conference and Harvard and Marengo left to join the newly formed North Six Conference.

Little 8 (north central)   1921 to 1975

This conference was formed in 1921 as the Little 6 and its charter members were BudaBureau TwpManlius, 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, WatermanRollo, 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 conference included:

Bunker Hill (still active), BrightonChesterfieldHettickMedoraRockbridgeScottvilleand Shipman.

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 Illinois.

To view an excellent website chronicalling the history of this conference check out Brian Hoxsey’s website located at

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
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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 fact, Allendale, Wayne City, St. Francisville, Grayville, CrossvilleEnfield 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.”

Little Illini (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.

Martinsville 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
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Submitted by George H. Scheetz

Little 7

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 was organized.

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..

Little 6 – Upper Central Illinois

This was a basketball conference which also may have offered baseball in the fall and track in the spring.

In 1954 the teams included:

MaldenRutlandHennepinLaRoseBureau Township, and Magnolia Swaney.

Conference basketball tournament that year ended as follows:

1st Place:  Bureau Township Beats Swaney 55-40

3rd Place: Malden Beats Hennepin 43-38

In 1958 the teams included:

Lostant (1st year in conference), LaRose, Bureau Township, Malden, Magnolia Swaney, NeponsetSparland, Hennepin.  There were 8 teams, we are not certain what year (1956,57, or 58) Neponset and Sparland joined.

1958 Conference Basketball Tournament

1st Place:  Bureau beat Sparland 56-51

3rd Place: Lostant Beat Neponset 46-42

In 1959 the teams included:

Magnolia Swaney, Malden, Bureau Township, Hennepin, Lostant, Neponset

In 1960 Conference members were:

Hennepin, Lostant, LaRose, Bureau Township, Magnolia Swaney, Mineral

In 1961 Conference members included:

LaRose, Lostant, Mineral, Hennepin, Magnolia Swaney, Bureau Township

The conference was dissolved after the 1960-61 season with the closures of Mineral, Bureau Township, and LaRose high schools.

Hennepin and Swaney closed in 1966 to become part of the Putnam County School District in Granville.

Lostant closed in 1993.

Sparland closed in 1995.

Neponset closed in 1998.

Little 6 – Upper Western Illinois

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.

Little Wabash Valley

The Little Wabash was a small school conference located in southeastern Illinois. The teams consisted of Bible Grove, Dietrich, Edgewood, Mason, Montrose, and Sigel. Boys basketball was the anchor sport for this highly competitive conference.

Mackinaw Valley

Armington-Hittle, Deer Creek-Mackinaw, Delavan, Green ValleyHopedaleMinier, San Jose

M – C – M (Macoupin – Clinton – Madison)

Members included Bunker Hill, WordenLivingston, St. Paul Highland, VeniceBreeseAviston, and Wesclin.  The last year of the conference was likely 1968.

Meridian (central Illinois)

The Meridian conference was formed in 1959. Its’ charter football members were AssumptionBethanyIlliopolisLovington, 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:


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 Days website:

CaledoniaCherry ValleyComptonFairdaleKingsKishwaukeeLeePoplar GroveSewardWest Brooklyn

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.

Mid Illini

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.

Mid Northern

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.


From Jay Williams (

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 ChenoaCornellEl PasoFairburyFlanaganGridley, 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 dropped 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 and Gridley 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 Conference Established – 1949
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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.

1980 Litchfield 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.

In 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 and Spalding consolidated forming 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 in 2011.

Mid Suburban

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.

Midget 8

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.”

Midland Trail

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… 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

1941 – Mt. Erie and Farina-LaGrove were accepted

1942 – Mt. Erie withdrew

1944 – Kinmundy-Alma was accepted

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.

Midwest Prep

(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 schools.

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.

National Trail

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, and Windsor.

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 football only:

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

NCIC Lincoln: 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 and wrestling.

North Six Conference (1939-1946) (Submitted by Timothy Wiltshire)
– The conference began in the spring of 1939, and its original lineup was Harlem, Harvard, Hononegah, Marengo, South Beloit, and Winnebago.
– Winnebago left in 1944, leaving the conference with only five schools for its final two years.
– The conference broke up in 1946 when Harlem, Hononegah, and South Beloit joined the newly formed SHARK Conference and Harvard and Marengo joined the newly formed SWANI Conference.
I also have updated information for more modern conferences:

Northeast (old)

Sometimes referred to as the Northeastern conference by 1951 this league featured Dwight, Gardner, Lemont, MazonReddick 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 the season.

Northeast (1956)

This league existed for football for the 1956 season only and featured Belvidere, Elmwood Park, Marmion and North Chicago.

Northeast (1966-1990)

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

Hebron (Alden-Hebron)

Kirkland Hiawatha


Rockford Christian Life

Rockford Kieth Country Day

Rockford Christian

Changes for 2012 – Rockford Christian will join the Big Northern West, the NEAC will welcome Ottawa Marquette to the league.

Northeast Catholic

By 1952 featured Immaculate Conception, Maryville AcademyRockford St. Thomas, Elgin St. Edward, St. Procopius and Woodstock St. Mary. Rockford St. Thomas left in 1955 and the last football season was 1959.

North Egypt

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 Egypt.

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 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 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.

Northern Lake County Conference

(new conference formed in 2016) (Submitted by Timothy Wiltshire)

Conference members as of 2022 include Antioch, Fox Lake Grant, Grays Lake Central, Grays Lake North, Lake Ville Lakes, North Chicago, Round Lake, Wauconda.

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.

North Six

Harvard, Hononegah, Machesney Park Harlem, Marengo, South Beloit and Winnebago. Conference was active during the 1930s and 1940s.

North Suburban

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.

Northwest (Far)

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 1966, Lanark 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.

Northwest (Near)

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

Northwest Illinois

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.

Northwest 7

This conference existed for just 2 seasons 1972 and 1973. AshtonFranklin CenterHanoverLeaf River, Milledgeville, Mt. Carroll and Rockford Lutheran were the football playing members. Many of these schools were in the Upstate Illini in 1974.

Northwest 8

Formed in 1977 its charter members were Ashton, Durand, Franklin CenterLeaf 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.

Northwest Suburban

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.

O’Hare Suburban

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.

Olympic (old)

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, ChandlervilleChapin, 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.

Prairie State

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 in 1997.

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 their purpose.

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 year, 1896-87.

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 track meet 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.

The Preparatory League 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 year.

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 SchoolLuther InstituteNorth Park AcademyWoodstock 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).

  • Conference play began in the 1975-76 school year. (thank you Jack Bullock!)
  • Members were Waltonville, Woodlawn, Webber Township, Wayne City, Grayville, Allendale (closed in 1984; now part of Mt. Carmel School District), Crossville (closed in 1988, now part of the Carmi White County School District), and Enfield (closed in 1984; now part of the NCOE school district).
  • Conference play ended in 1982-83.
  • Boys basketball was the marquee sport. Some of the schools also offered baseball and/or track. No reference to girls’ athletics.


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 RiverMonroe Center, Pecatonica, Stillman Valley, and Winnebago of the Route 72 Conference along with ElburnGenoa, 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.


Red Warrior

From Mike Young:

The Red Warrior conference was a six team conference. Armstrong won the title in boys basketball 1965-66. Rossville was also a member of this conference.


River Trails

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.

Route 72

In 1952 the league had 7 football schools Ashton, Byron, Leaf RiverMonroe 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.

It 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.

The 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).

The 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.

Riverton 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.

After 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.

These 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.

The 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).

Chatham 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.

The 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

Boys basketball titles of those charter members of the conference from 1925 thru 1937:


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)               Riverton

1932-33          Riverton                                     Riverton

1933-34          Chatham, Mechanicsburg (tie)     Chatham

1934-35          Riverton                                     Buffalo

1935-36          Buffalo*                                        *

1936-37          Dawson, Riverton (tie)                 Riverton

*No tournament in 1936. Buffalo defeated Riverton 23-19 in one game playoff to determine conference champion. (Loami and Rochester never won any titles.)

There 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.)

Girls 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.


Sangamon Valley

Formed in 1955, its charter football playing members were Colfax OctaviaFarmer 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 and Mansfield 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 and Forrest-Strawn-Wing left the league when they consolidated forming Prairie Central. In 1989 Colfax Octavia and Saybrook-Arrowsmith 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:


This league got its name from the first letter of its 5 charter members…South Beloit, Harlem (Machesney Park), Freeport Aquin, Rockton Hononegah and Kirkland-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 and Westview, 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 and West both joined and these same two schools consolidated in 1993. Kankakee Eastridge and Westview consolidated in 1983. Bloom Trail left in 1995 and Lincoln-Way East opened in 2001. The conference gradually broke up during the late 2000s.

South Central

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, and Chester.

South Central Prep

Existed for one year only 1970 and featured Aurora Central Catholic, Little Flower Academy, Providence and St Francis De Sales.

South Egyptian

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.

Southeast Suburban

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.

Southern Conference

Submitted by our good friend Adam Rosoho.  This conference was formed prior to the 1939-40 school year and incldued the following schools:

Carbondale U HighSesserValierHurst-Bush, Crab Orchard, and Goreville.

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.

Carbondale U-HighRoyaltonSesserValier.

Southern Illinois Conference of Colored High Schools

(from Pat Heston) “This conference was a segregated schools conference and was comprised three geographic areas.

Furthest north were the St. Louis Metro East schools, which also played St. Louis inner-city schools in a second conference, the Ill-Mo. These schools (some of which you do not list) were: Brooklyn (Lovejoy), Edwardsville (Lincoln)East St. Louis (Lincoln)Madison (Dunbar) and Venice (Lincoln).

“To the south were schools from DuQuoin (Lincoln) and Carbondale (Attucks), as well as Murphysboro (Douglass)Herrin (Colp)Dubois and Dewmaine.  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.

“Furthest south 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 in Sandusky.”

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.

Southern Six

Four of the schools that comprised this small school conference included Wolf Lake (Shawnee), Cobden, Campbell Hill (Trico), Steeleville, Hurst-Bush, and Carbondale University High School.

South 7

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 joined.

South Suburban

(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 CentralEast and West. 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.

Southwest Egyptian

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.

Southwest Prairie

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 and South 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 .

Alton, Collinsville and East St. Louis, aside of schools that have seen splits, have been members of this conference for 83 straight years.


During the 1950’s this leagues football playing members were AssumptionBethanyIlliopolisLovington, Maroa-Forsythe, Mowequa and Mt. Zion. Niantic-Harristown played one season in 1959 which was the league’s last.

Spoon River

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


Stephenson County

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 league dissolved.

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.

Suburban Prairie

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 Yorkville…

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.

Three Rivers

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.”

Rick Schertz 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)

MoundsMound CityThebesAlto PassUllin, and Dongola comprised this conference in the far southern part of Illinois.

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: HennepinHenryHopkins (Granville), LostantMagnoliaPutnam, McNabb SwaneyTonica, and Varna. It has changed many times over the years to include De Pue, TolucaWenonaRutland, Lostant, LaconSparlandBensonRoanokeWashburn. 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 and Washburn joined to form our current Lowpoint-Washburn rivals. Rutland, Toluca, and Wenona joined the already combined schools of Minonk-Dana-Rutland 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.


Small 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).


A conference initiated in the fall of 1930 that included 3-year high schools from the Douglas County and Champaign County areas. Basketball was the main sport however baseball and track may have also been a part of this small-school conference. Member schools included CamargoBroadlandsFooslandHumboldtLudlowPenfieldPesotumPhiloSadorusSidney,


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Decatur Herald, May 20, 1930

Two C’s / Three C’s

The Two C’s conference, with the C standing for Counties, was formed in 1949 by ArenzvilleChandlerville 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

AnnawanAtkinsonCordovaErieHillsdaleLyndonMineralPort ByronProphetstownTampico 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, FairburyCropsey, Morris and Streator Woodland. Marseilles joined in 1960. The last season for football in this loop was 1963.

Upstate 8

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 CenterHanoverLeaf River, Milledgeville, Mt. Carroll, Orangeville, Pearl City and Rockford Lutheran. In 1976 Hanover dropped football and Rockford Lutheran left the loop.

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.

US Grant

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.

For basketball during the 1940s and 1950s the US Grant Conference included Illinois high schools of East Dubuque, Elizabeth, Galena, Hanover, Scales Mound, Stockton, and Warren.


In 1952 for football the Valley consisted of BiggsvilleJoyKeithsburgKirkwoodLittle 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 YorkwoodNew 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, CullomForrest-Strawn-Wing, Herscher, Onarga and SauneminPiper City added football in 1952. In 1954 Herscher dropped out and Kempton-Cabery fielded their first team. Onarga Military joined in 1956. Gilman and Reddick joined in 1962 and the league reached its maximum of 10 teams. Cullom and Kempton-Caberry 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 CentralOdellReddickMazon-Verona-KinsmanForest-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 CityGilmanMelvin, Milford, OnargaPaxton, 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):

MendonBowenPaysonGoldenAugustaClayton, Camp Point, Plymouth

West Central

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 Rushville 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/Stronghurst Southern 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.

Western Area

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

Existed for the 1998 season only. The North division consisted of Avon/Roseville coop, CarthageMonmouth YorkwoodSciota NW/LaHarpe coop, Spoon River Valley and Stronghurst Southern. The South consisted of Brown County, Camp Point Central coop, Hamilton, Mendon Unity, Rushville and Warsaw coop.

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.

Western Sun

This short-lived conference began in 2006 and ended in 2010 with Batavia, DeKalb, Geneva, Glen Ellyn Glenbard South, Kaneland, Rochelle, Sycamore and Yorkville.

West Suburban

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 years.

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.

These schools (Evanston AcademyMorgan 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, IndustryLa HarpeSciota 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 1973.

Wilco (old)

Gladstone-OquawkaReynoldsRoosevelt Military and Stronghurst competed in football in 1952 the loop’s final season.


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, GilmanKankakee 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.

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