East Suburban Catholic Conference

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The East Suburban Catholic Conference (ESCC) is an athletic conference consisting of 13 Catholic high schools in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois (though despite its name, two schools are located in the city itself). The conference became independent in 1974.

While originally only supporting competition in men's sports, the conference began supporting women's athletics in 1991. Today, there are eleven women's teams and ten men's teams.

Despite not being as old as other conferences, and not having any women's sports until relatively recent history, the teams in the conference have finished in the top four of Illinois High School Association (IHSA) sponsored state tournaments 76 times in nine different sports.

Current membership[edit]

School Town Team Name Colors IHSA Classes (2/3/4) Reference
Benet Academy Lisle Redwings           AA/3A/4A [1]
Carmel High School Mundelein Corsairs                AA/3A/4A [2]
Joliet Catholic Academy Joliet Hilltoppers/Angels1                AA/2A/3A [3]
Marian Catholic High School Chicago Heights Spartans                AA/2A/3A [4]
Marian Central Catholic High School Woodstock Hurricanes                AA/2A/4A [5]
Marist High School Chicago RedHawks           AA/3A/4A [6]
Nazareth Academy La Grange Park Roadrunners                AA/2A/3A [7]
Notre Dame College Prep Niles Dons                AA/3A/4A [8]
St. Patrick High School Chicago Shamrocks           AA/3A/4A [9]
St. Viator High School Arlington Heights Lions           AA/2A/3A [10]

Notre Dame and St. Patrick are all male institutions, and thus do not field women's teams. Three members (Bishop McNamara, Fenwick, and Providence) are coed schools whose men's teams compete in the Chicago Catholic League (CCL). Since the CCL does not sponsor competition for women, these schools are represented in the ESCC by their women's teams. The rest of the schools are coed, and are represented in the ESCC by both their men's and women's teams. Marian Central Catholic High School joined at the end of 2013-2014 football season has started playing in the conference for every other sport. They will compete in this conference for football in the 2014-2015 season.

Somewhat unusual by the standards of the metropolitan Chicago area, the conference is spread over a five county area. While most of the members are in Cook County, Bishop McNamra is in Kankakee County to Chicago's far south. Joliet Catholic and Providence are in Will County to Chicago's southwest. Benet Academy is in DuPage County which is to the west of Chicago. Carmel is far to the north in Lake County and Marian Central is in McHenry County which is far northwest of the city. The furthest schools (Carmel,Marian Central and Bishop McNamara) is approximately 100 miles (160.9 km).

History[edit]

The conference can trace its roots back to the founding of the Suburban Catholic Conference in 1960. Among the six founding members, only Joliet Catholic, Notre Dame, and Benet Academy (then known as St. Procopius) are currently ESCC members. Carmel joined in 1966.

In 1970, Joliet Catholic temporarily left, with four new schools joining: Marist, St. Joseph, St. Patrick, and St. Viator. With the conference now at 14, the conference divided into two divisions. The East Division included the four new schools, Carmel, Notre Dame, and Holy Cross High School. In 1971 St. Francis de Sales High School joined the East Division.

In 1974, the two divisions split forming the West Suburban Catholic Conference and the ESCC (in 1989, the West Suburban Catholic Conference would drop the "West" and return to using the original conference name). After one year, St. Joseph left to pursue one year as an independent school, and came back to replace St. Francis de Sales which left after the 1975-76 season. Joliet Catholic joined in 1982. The conference elected to expand in 1990 by adding Benet Academy and Marian Catholic.

As a result of the number of coed schools in the conference, the conference began sponsoring competition for women in 1991.

In 1996, for football only, the ESCC and Chicago Catholic League merged to form the Chicago Metro League. This relationship ended after the 2002 football season, with Holy Cross High School joining the Chicago Catholic League permanently for all sports, and Nazareth Academy joining the ESCC.[11]

In 2010, St. Joseph High School withdrew from the conference.

Sports sponsored[edit]

The conference sponsors competition for men and women in basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Men's competition is sponsored in baseball, football, and wrestling, while competition for women is sponsored in softball.[12] With each sport, the conference recognizes "All-Conference" and "Scholar Athlete" performances. All of these sports have state tournaments sponsored by the Illinois High School Association (IHSA).

Top finishes[edit]

The following teams, while members of the ESCC, finished in the top four of their respective state tournaments sponsored by the IHSA. In total, the conference has finished fourth 14 times, 3rd place 21 times, 2nd place 15 times, and State Champion in their respective class 26 times. This information is referenced in the individual record pages for each school.

  • Baseball: Carmel (3rd 2003–04) • Joliet Catholic 3rd place (2007–08); 2nd place (1989–90, 99–2000, 03–04); State Champions (1993–94), (2008–09) • Marist (3rd 2000–01; State Champions 1977–78) • Notre Dame (State Champions 2003–04) • St. Patrick (2nd 2005–06) • Marian Catholic (State Champions 2011–12) • Nazareth Academy (4th 2010-11, 3rd 2011-12, 2nd 2014-15 )
  • Basketball (boys): St. Joseph (4th 1983–84; 3rd 86–87; 2nd 77–78; State Champions 98–99)
  • Basketball (girls): Bishop McNamara (4th 07–08) • Fenwick (3rd 1999–2000, 03–04; 2nd 02–03; State Champions 00–01, 06–07) • Marian Catholic (4th 2003–04; 3rd 06–07; 2nd 01–02) • Marist (4th 07–08)
  • Cross Country (boys): Benet (3rd 1991–92) • Marist (4th 1982–83; 3rd 96–97 1st 10)
  • Cross Country (girls): Benet (4th 1996–97; 3rd 2006–07)
  • Football: Carmel (State Champions 2003–04) • Joliet Catholic (2nd 1992–93, 96–97, 09–10, 11–12; State Champions 1975–76, 76–77, 77–78, 78–79, 81–82, 87–88, 90–91, 99–00, 00–01, 01–02, 03–04, 04–05, 07–08) • Marian Catholic (State Champions 1993–94, 2nd 1999–00) • Marist (2nd 1986–87, 09–10, 15–16) • Notre Dame (2nd 1989–90) • Nazareth Academy (State Champions 2014–15, 15–16)
  • Golf (boys): Carmel (3rd 1975–76) • St. Viator (3rd 1983–84; 2nd 2006–07; State Champions 2003–04 07–08, 08–09)[13]
  • Golf (girls): Marian Catholic (4th 2006–07; 3rd 07–08; 2nd 05–06)
  • Soccer (boys): Benet (State Champions 2000–01, 01–02) • St. Joseph (4th 1984–85, 2004–05; 3rd 1989–90, 99–2000; 2nd 1997–98) • St. Viator (4th 2001–02; 3rd 1996–97, 97–98, 2004–05; 2nd 2000–01; State Champions 2003–04)
  • Soccer (girls): Fenwick (4th 2003–04) • St. Viator (State Champions 2001–02, 02–03, 04–05)
  • Softball: Fenwick (4th 1997–98) • Marist (State Champions 2011–12 , 14–15)
  • Volleyball (boys): Marist (4th 1995–96; State Champions 2001–02, 10–11 )
  • Volleyball (girls): Joliet Catholic (4th 1998–99, 2005–06; 3rd 2006–07; State Champions 2003–04 08-09) • Benet (2nd 2008–-09, State Champions 2011–12, 12–13, 14–15 )
  • Wrestling: Marist (3rd 1984–85, 88–89, 90–91; 2nd 96–97; State Champions 82–83, 86–87)

Hall of Fame[edit]

Since 2006, the conference has recognized administrators, coaches, and former athletes for their excellence. Among the notable inductees:[14]

Notes[edit]

  1. Men's teams representing Joliet Catholic are stylized as the "Hilltoppers", while women's teams are stylized as the "Angels". This dates to the merger of the all–male Joliet Catholic High School (Hilltoppers) with the all–female St. Francis Academy (Angels) in 1990.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lisle (Benet Academy)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 1 April 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  2. ^ "Mundelein (Carmel)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 1 April 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  3. ^ "Joliet (Catholic Academy)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 1 April 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  4. ^ "Chicago Heights (Marian)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 1 April 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  5. ^ "Woodstock (Marian)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 1 April 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "Chicago (Marist)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 1 April 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  7. ^ "LaGrange Park (Nazareth Academy)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 1 April 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  8. ^ "Niles (Notre Dame)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 1 April 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  9. ^ "Chicago (St. Patrick)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 1 April 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  10. ^ "Chicago (St. Viator)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 1 April 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  11. ^ History of the SCC and ESCC
  12. ^ List of sponsored sports
  13. ^ 2008-09 IHSAboys golf champions; accessed 19 October 2008
  14. ^ Hall of Fame

External links[edit]