National Trail Conference

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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.

Founded in 1935, the National Trail Conference was named after the National Road, which runs through the heart of the conference in Effingham and Fayette Counties and coincides with U.S. Route 40.

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,[1] while the Teutopolis boys have won one state title (in 1986)[2] 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.

Current Membership[edit]

School Location Mascot Colors County Enrollment IHSA Classes 2/3/4[3] IHSA Music Class[4] IHSA Cheerleading Class[5] Year Joined Previous Conference
Altamont Altamont Indians           Effingham 276 A/1A/1A D Small squad 1935
Beecher City Beecher City Eagles           Effingham 127 A/1A/1A D Small squad 1935
Brownstown Brownstown Bombers           Fayette 103 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
Neoga Neoga Indians           Cumberland 238 A/1A/1A D Small squad 1935
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

Sources:IHSA Conferences[6] and IHSA Member Schools Directory[7]

Former Members[edit]

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
Teutopolis Teutopolis Wooden Shoes           Effingham 1935 2012 Independents


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.[8] 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.[9][10]

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.[11] This marked the second time in three years the NTC has added a former Midland Trail school.

Competitive Success[edit]

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.

Cooperative Arrangements[edit]

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


External links[edit]