(9-6-18) DeKalb’s chances to become an expansion member of the Upstate 8 took one step in a positive direction this week. That is thanks to the West Aurora BOE approving by a 5-1 vote to join the Southwest Prairie Conference at the start of the 2019-20 school year.

The move has one ‘small’ stipulation before it is a ‘done deal’, West Aurora would have to approve the new division line-ups that will be discussed later this month by conference members.

SPC Divisions

See the complete Conference Comparison between SWPC and U8 athletic conferences that was presented to West Aurora School Board this week.

If not approved West Aurora Superintendent Jeff Craig told the Chicago Tribune after the vote:

“We have absolute refusal (rights). If either of those two divisional models are not what we saw, then we don’t move forward.”

With West Aurora’s apparent move now almost certain, plus the recent departure of Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles East and St. Charles North who joined the new DuKane Conference for the 2018-19 school year, that leaves the Upstate 8 with just nine members (Glenbard South, Glenbard East, South Elgin, Bartlett, Elgin Larkin, Aurora East, Elgin, Streamwood and West Chicago).

Since Yorkville will move into the SWPC next school year, that leaves DeKalb as the only remaining Northern Illinois Big 12 (NIB 12) without a conference home next school year. They already have applied to the U8, but the conference leadership put that request on hold until everything had been settled. With football schedules the main reason for adding a 10th member the U8 might be more welcoming to the DeKalb application.