Independent School League (Boston Area)

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Independent School League
Established 1948
Association New England Prep School Athletic Conference
Members 16
Sports fielded 18
Region New England
Locations
Independent School League locations

The Independent School League (ISL) is composed of sixteen New England preparatory schools that compete athletically and academically. Founded in 1948, the ISL's sixteen members compete in eighteen sports in the New England Prep School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC).

History[edit]

Charter members of the Private School League were Belmont Hill, Brooks, Buckingham Browne & Nichols (BB&N), The Governor's Academy, Milton Academy, Noble & Greenough, St. Mark's, and Thayer. Like the Ivy League, the ISL began as a loose affiliation to promote football among academically rigorous, Northeastern schools; however, administrators formalized the league during 1948.

In 1968 Middlesex joined, and in 1972 Groton replaced Tabor. – both private boarding schools in the Boston area. –

In 1973 St. Sebastian's was added and in 1974 Roxbury Latin was added. The league changed its name to the 'Independent School League' in 1974.

St. Paul's, Lawrence Academy, and St. George's – all private boarding schools – joined during the mid-1970s.

Members[edit]

School Mascot Location Founded Entered ISL Grades Number of Students Varsity Teams
Belmont Hill School No Mascot (Sextant is school symbol) Belmont, MA 1923 1948 7-12 420 Boys 16
Brooks School Bishops North Andover, MA 1926 1948 9-12 368 22
Buckingham Browne & Nichols Knights Cambridge, MA 1883 1948 pre-K-12 997 16
Governor's Academy Governors Byfield, MA 1763 1948 9-12 376 20
Groton School Zebras Groton, MA 1884 1972 8-12 352 19
Lawrence Academy at Groton Spartans Groton, MA 1793 1973 9-12 375 22
Middlesex School Zebras Concord, MA 1901 1968 9-12 350 24
Milton Academy Mustangs Milton, MA 1798 1948 K-12 680 25
Noble and Greenough School Bulldogs Dedham, MA 1866 1948 7-12 525 25
Rivers School Red Wings Weston, MA 1915 1973 6-12 450 16
Roxbury Latin School Foxes West Roxbury, MA 1645 1974 7-12 290 Boys 10
St. George's School Dragons Middletown, RI 1896 1981 9-12 345 24
St. Mark's School Lions Southborough, MA 1865 1948 9-12 325 22
St. Paul's School Pelicans (teams are cheered for as "Big Red") Concord, NH 1855 1973 9-12 533 17
St. Sebastian's School Arrows Needham, MA 1941 1973 7-12 350 Boys 14
Thayer Academy Tigers Braintree, MA 1877 1948 6-12 668 23

Reputation[edit]

ISL schools are noted for high tuition, wealthy students, academic excellence, superior college placement, athletics, and in many cases, storied histories. For example, the ISL features two of the United States' ten wealthiest boarding schools, St. Paul's and Groton. Also, the ISL features two of the United States' ten oldest boarding schools, Governor's and Lawrence, and the oldest school in continuous existence in North America, Roxbury Latin. The ISL also boasts the only day school to make the 2006 Forbes Most Expensive Private High Schools list: The Buckingham Browne and Nichols School. Collectively, these New England schools are sometimes termed St. Grottlesex. The term is a blend, using the St. part of St. Paul's, St. Mark's, and St. George's, part of Groton School, combined with part of Middlesex.

Sports[edit]

Member schools compete in the following sports:

For some sports, such as ice hockey, the ISL is divided into two divisions: the Keller and the Eberhart:

Keller Division Eberhart Division
BB&N Brooks
Belmont Hill Groton
Governor's Middlesex
Lawrence Rivers
Milton Roxbury Latin
Nobles St. George's
St. Paul's St. Mark's
St. Sebastian's
Thayer

Football[edit]

2012-2013 St. Sebastian's and The Governor's Academy won the Independent School League both going undefeated (9-0),and both won their respective bowl games.
2011-2012 Governors Academy won the Independent School League Championships.
2010-2011 Lawrence Academy and Rivers won a share of the ISL championship.

2009-2010 Lawrence Academy won the Independent School League Championships.
2008-2009 BBN won the Independent School League Championships.

Hockey[edit]

In 2011-2012 Lawrence Academy won the Independent School League Championship, as well as the NEPSAC championship defeating Nobles in the final round (3-2). In 2010-2011 Milton Academy went to win the Independent School League championship for ice hockey and then continued the success to win it all in the NEPSAC championship. In the 2009-2010 hockey season Nobles won the ISL championship. In the 2008-2009 hockey season Lawrence Academy won the ISL championships.

In 1988 -- then Governor Dummer Academy -- won the Eberhart Division and the NEPSAC Div. II Championship defeating The Gunnery School. That win propelled GDA into the prestigious Keller Division where it has competed since 1988-89.

Soccer[edit]

In 1948 eight local private schools banded together to form one of the first high school soccer leagues in the area. A number of the schools had been competing informally and a structured league was desirable. Full round robin play was not achieved until 1952 but has been a constant feature since that year. The original eight schools included Belmont Hill, Brooks, Browne & Nichols, Governor Dummer, Milton, Nobles, St. Mark's, and Tabor.

In 1948 a championship cup was procured and was named in honor of Richard Gummere, a longtime teacher and coach at both Browne & Nichols and Haverford College; the Gummere Cup is undoubtedly one of the oldest secondary school soccer trophies in the country. In 1968 Middlesex joined the group and in 1971 Roxbury Latin competed before joining permanently in 1974. 1972 saw Tabor leave the league and Groton join. That brought the league to ten schools where it remained until 1984. The original Private School League had expanded during this time and had grown into the 16 school Independent School League. In order to include the six ISL schools not in Gummere Cup play at the time (Lawrence, Rivers, St. George's, St. Paul's, St. Sebastian's, and Thayer) the Athletic Directors created a separate ISL soccer league in 1980. Because full round robin play was not possible at that time, North and South Divisions, each with eight schools, were established. A Championship Final was held on the Wednesday following the regular season. The Founder's Cup was awarded to the winning school.

Both the Gummere Cup and ISL competitions operated simultaneously from 1980 through 1983. Due to the ban on post season league-sponsored play no finals were held in 1982 and 1983. In 1984, a full round robin schedule was adopted and all sixteen schools began competing for the Gummere Cup. The Founder's Cup is now awarded to the second placed team.

Lacrosse[edit]

ISL lacrosse has sent many players to top division one (D1) lacrosse universities, and has had numerous All-Americans. Belmont Hill,[1] Saint Sebastian's, Middlesex, Governor's Academy, and Nobles have traditionally been the top programs in the league.

Tennis[edit]

Current ISL Champions: Roxbury Latin. Undefeated in 2011

Boys Leaders from 2007

Belmont Hill (11-1) BB&N (10-1) Thayer (10-2) Rox. Latin (8-3) Groton (8-5) Brooks (8-7) Nobles (6-6) St. Pauls (6-6)

Girls Leaders from 2007

Milton Academy, BB&N, Nobles, St. George's / Groton (tied for fourth) Thayer, Brooks

Girl's Ice Hockey[edit]

Many ISL schools participate in girls ice hockey. Nobles has been the leader the past decade, winning the league for the past 12 years. The ISL has sent many women to D1 schools and to the Olympics.

Baseball[edit]

In 2012, Belmont Hill won the ISL championship by beating BB&N 11-1. In 2011, Lawrence Academy capped of an undefeated ISL season(16-0,18-2 Overall) by defeating Rivers 13-2 and winning the league title. BB&N is the 2010 ISL champion after completing the first undefeated season (20-0) in school history. Belmont HIll,Lawrence Academy, St. Sebastian's, Milton Academy, and Governor's Academy are also consistently at the top of the league.

Crew[edit]

Only a few ISL schools participate in crew, but among those include: Belmont Hill, BB&N, Brooks, Groton, Middlesex, Nobles, Thayer, and St. Mark's. St. Paul's races eight-man boats, and does not compete with the other ISL schools in head-to-head regattas. The regular season ends with the NEIRA regatta, with the top two boats entered into the National Championships in Cincinnati, Ohio. Almost every year, a New England boat wins the national title. Some perennially strong crews include BB&N, Groton, Nobles, St. Paul's, and Brooks, but Belmont Hill has been the most dominant program of late, they have won eight consecutive New England Championships (2003–2010) and four National Championships (2003, 2006, 2007, 2010) with its first boat. St. Paul's is noted to have produced some of the best crew eights in high school leagues.

School Home water Location
BB&N Charles River Cambridge, Massachusetts
Belmont Hill Charles River Belmont, Massachusetts
Brooks School Lake Cochichewick North Andover, Massachusetts
Groton School Nashua River Groton, Massachusetts
Middlesex Concord River Concord, Massachusetts
Nobles Charles River Dedham, Massachusetts
St. Mark's Lake Quinsigamond Worcester, Massachusetts
St. Paul's School Turkey Pond Concord, New Hampshire
Thayer Lincoln Maritime Hingham, Massachusetts

References[edit]