National Trail Conference
The National Trail Conference (NTC) is an historic high school conference in east central Illinois. The conference participates in athletics and activities in the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). The conference comprises ten public high schools and one private high school with small enrollments in portions of Effingham, Fayette, Shelby, Cumberland and Jasper counties.
While none of the schools in the NTC (as it is informally known) sponsor football, the conference is well-recognized around the state for having strong boys and girls basketball teams. The Teutopolis Lady Shoes have won five state titles, the second-most of any team in Illinois, while the Teutopolis boys have won one state title (in 1986) and numerous regional and sectional crowns. Effingham St. Anthony, Stewardson-Strasburg, and St. Elmo have also made appearances at the Illinois high school boys basketball championship, while Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City (a co-op between two member schools in girls basketball) has made two appearances (2010, 2012) in the girls final four.
|School||Location||Mascot||Colors||County||Enrollment||IHSA Classes 2/3/4||IHSA Music Class||IHSA Cheerleading Class||Year Joined||Previous Conference|
|Beecher City||Beecher City||Eagles||Effingham||127||A/1A/1A||D||Small squad||1935|
|Cowden-Herrick||Cowden||Hornets||Shelby||133||A/1A/1A||D||Small Squad||1971||none (new school)|
|Dieterich||Dieterich||Movin' Maroons||Effingham||138||A/1A/1A||D||Small squad||2009||Midland Trail|
|St. Anthony||Effingham||Bulldogs||Effingham||189 (311.85) with multiplier)||A/1A/2A||D||Small squad||1935|
|St. Elmo||St. Elmo||Eagles||Fayette||136||A/1A/1A||D||Small squad||1935|
|South Central||Farina||Cougars||Fayette||223||A/1A/1A||D||Small squad||2012||Midland Trail|
|Stewardson-Strasburg||Strasburg||Comets||Shelby||143||A/1A/1A||D||Small squad||1951||none (new school)|
|Windsor||Windsor||Blue Devils||Shelby||123||A/1A/1A||C||Small squad||1935|
|School||Location||Mascot||Colors||County||Year Joined||Previous Conference||Year Left||Conference Joined|
|Herrick||Herrick||Eagles||Shelby||1935||1971||none (consolidated into
|Strasburg||Strasburg||Cardinals||Shelby||1935||1951||none (consolidated into
The National Trail Conference (NTC) was established in 1935. Nine of the eleven schools — all except Dieterich and South Central — have been members since the conference's founding. Strasburg and Herrick high schools closed in 1951 and 1971, respectively, through consolidation. Their respective consolidations (Stewardson-Strasburg and Cowden-Herrick) would retain membership in the conference.
The conference's membership stayed stable from 1971 until the 2009 season, when the Dieterich Movin' Maroons became full-time members after leaving the Midland Trail Conference. Teutopolis left in 2012 to become an independent and play schools closer to its size, as the school was twice the size of most of the schools in the conference. South Central, located in Farina, replaced Teutopolis for the 2012-13 school year. This marked the second time in three years the NTC has added a former Midland Trail school.
National Trail Conference teams have won 17 state championships in IHSA sponsored athletics and activities, most recently the 2014 Class 1A state softball championship, won by Altamont. NTC teams have won numerous regional and sectional titles and most have competed in the final four at least once in either boys or girls basketball.
Girls basketball in academic years 2009-2010 and 2010–2011
- Cowden-Herrick and Beecher City
- Brownstown and St. Elmo
- Shelbyville and Windsor and Stewardson-Strasburg
- http://www.illinoishsglorydays.com/id349.html The Great Conferences, Illinois High School Glory Days, Accessed February 15, 2011
- http://www.illinoishsglorydays.com/id373.html Cowden High School, Illinois High School Glory Days, Accessed February 15, 2011
- http://www.illinoishsglorydays.com/id425.html Stewardson High School, Illinois High School Glory Days, Accessed February 15, 2011
- http://www.thexradio.com/premier/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9169:national-trail-conference-adds-south-central-turns-down-nokomis&catid=8:local-sports&Itemid=2 National Trail Conference Adds South Central, Turns Down Nokomis, The X Radio News, Accessed Feb. 27, 2011