(9-21-17) The Interstate Eight Conference is another victim of high school athletic conferences blowing-up in Illinois.
The Sandwich School Administration released the following statement –
“On August 28, it became clear that seven of the 11 schools in the I-8 wanted to leave the conference in pursuit of their own conference. Sandwich was not privy to the conversations the other I-8 schools were having and was only made aware of the meetings, via email, after the fact. Once the intentions of the majority came to light, Tom Sodaro, principal of Sandwich High School and Tim Gipe, athletic director of Sandwich High School, began to weigh their options.
“The options currently available are as follows: Join another conference, form a new conference and/or add schools to the remaining conference teams.
“Sandwich High School is committed to the entire student body. With this being said, we are looking to the best interest of our athletic department and our extracurricular activities.
“When more information becomes available, we will share it with the community.”
Eight current Interstate Eight members — Wilmington, Herscher, Streator, Reed-Custer, Peotone, Lisle, Manteno and Coal City have already made the announcement that they were leaving to form a new 8 member conference.
Like Wilmington & Streator before, Reed-Custer’s school board voted Wed night to withdraw from the Interstate Eight.
Here’s R-C’s statement: pic.twitter.com/UrmTX9KSsZ
— J.T. Pedelty (Times) (@TT_jtpedelty) September 21, 2017
Also left out of the talks were, Plano and Westmont, add Sandwich and that leaves those three out in the cold. Their future may include playing as an independent, which can be a nightmare with scheduling, especially football.
It is also getting to be more common place for schools disgruntled with a conference to leave as a group and not include all of the current members in the conference in those talks.
Recently the Kishwaukee River Conference (KRC) Burlington Central was voted out after being a founding member several years ago. The KRC was formed when those schools decided to bail out on the Big Northern Conference, much like what is taking place with the I-8.
In a Quincy Herald-Whig story today Craig Anderson, the Executive Director of the Illinois High School Association told the paper:
“Conference jumping, from where I sit, I don’t believe it’s healthy.”
“When you speak to the 95 percent of schools, they may be right now in a conference they’re comfortable with. However, I’m guessing many of them suffered previously in another conference and have forgotten what a bad situation that is. If we can get a proposal that people can really reflect on, they might remember those times when they were uncomfortable.”
“There are things we can adjust where football isn’t such a driving force in making those decisions.”