Northern Illinois Conference (athletic conference)

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Northern Illinois Conference
Association IHSA
Members 10
Region Illinois (Boone, Stephenson, and Winnebago counties)

The Northern Illinois Conference (NIC-10) is a high school athletic conference consisting of nine high public schools and one Catholic school in Illinois' Boone, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties. Member schools are also full members of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), and are among the larger schools in that area, all competing in Class AA (in the two class system) of IHSA competitions.

Members[edit]

Northeast Illinois High School Division Town Team Name Colors
Belvidere High School Belvidere Bucs               
Belvidere North High School Belvidere Blue Thunder               
Coal City High School Coal City Coalers          
Morris Community High School Morris Redskins          
Minooka Community High School Minooka Indians          
Oswego High School Oswego Panthers          
Oswego East High School Oswego Wolves          

History[edit]

The Northern Illinois High School Conference (NIHSC) was founded in 1916 as a high school football conference. Boys track and basketball soon followed, and other sports were added over time. Original members included Freeport High School, Rockford High School, Joliet High School, Elgin High School, DeKalb High School, Aurora East High School, and Aurora West High School. DeKalb withdrew after one season, and for two years the league operated with six schools. The flu pandemic of 1918, which hit the Rockford area particularly hard, caused the cancellation of that year’s football season, and when league play returned in 1919, DeKalb rejoined. At this time, newspapers began referring to the league as the Big 7 for brevity.[1]

In 1929, DeKalb again left the conference with six teams, and the league was known as the Big 6 until LaSalle-Peru High School joined in 1936. In the spring of 1940, Rockford High School was replaced by Rockford West and Rockford East, and the conference naturally became the Big 8. [2]

1940 to 1960 was a period of stability, as the league operated with the same eight members spread over five far-flung counties. However, the high school building boom that began throughout northern Illinois in the late 1950s led to a series of conference realignments that brought rapid changes and a geographic shift to the Big 8. The first in this series of moves was Joliet’s departure for the South Suburban Conference in 1960. The Steelmen were replaced by the newly opened Rockford Auburn High School that same year. In 1963, NIHSC charter members East Aurora, West Aurora, and Elgin departed to help form the new Upstate 8 Conference, and Harlem High School, Belvidere High School, and the newly opened Rockford Guilford High School immediately stepped in to take their place. With the other seven league members now concentrated in the farthest reaches of northern Illinois, LaSalle-Peru withdrew in 1964 to join the North Central Illinois Conference, which was closer to home. Boylan Central Catholic High School, the league’s only private school, replaced the Cavaliers that same year.[3]

The Big 8 became the Big 9 with the addition of Rockford Jefferson High School in 1971.

In 1982, Hononegah High School joined the league, and to avoid the obvious confusion with the collegiate Big 10, the league returned to its roots by becoming the Northern Illinois Conference (NIC-10).

The league became the NIC-9 when Rockford West was closed after the 1988–89 school year, and reverted to NIC-10 when Belvidere North High School opened in 2007. Freeport High School remains the only original member of the conference.

[4]

Membership timeline[edit]

Full members Various Conferences/Independent Other Conference Upstate 8 Conference Other Conference

State championships[edit]

58 IHSA State Championships have been earned by the conference membership:

  • Basketball (boys)-8: Joliet Township (1936–37); Elgin (1923–24, 24–25); Rockford High School (1938–39); Rockford West (1954–55, 55–56); Freeport (1925–26, 50–51)[5]
  • Bowling (boys)-5: Jefferson (2002–03); Freeport (2007–08); Guilford (2010-11); Guilford (2013-14); Rockton (Hononegah) (2014-15)[6]
  • Bowling (girls)-7: Jefferson (2007–08); Harlem (1999–2000, 00–01, 01–02, 04–05, 10-11); Rockford East (1996–97)[7]
  • Chess-3: Jefferson (1990–91); Auburn (1991–92, 92–93)[8]
  • Cross Country (boys)-2: Belvidere North (2009–10, 10-11)[9]
  • Cross Country (girls)-1: Guilford (1981–82)[10]
  • Field Hockey (girls)-1: Rockford West (1975–76)[11]
  • Football-7: Belvidere (1993–94, 94–95); Rockford East (1974–75, 85–86); Guilford (1982–83); Boylan (2010-11, 2011-12)[12]
  • Golf (boys)-12: Rockford East (1941–42, 42–43, 43–44, 44–45, 46–47, 56–57); Rockford West (1940–41); Guilford (1974–75, 75–76, 83–84, 85–86); Boylan (2002-03)[13]
  • Golf (girls)-1: Guilford (1994–95)[14]
  • Golf (girls -individual)-1: RPS205 Coop Team (2015-16) Madasyn Pettersen (Auburn)
  • Journalism-1: Jefferson (2006-07)[15]
  • Scholastic Bowl-2: Auburn (2007–08, 2014-15)[16]
  • Soccer (boys)-1: Boylan (2010-11)
  • Softball-2[which?]: Harlem (1979–80, 98–99)[17]
  • Swimming & Diving (boys)-1: Rockford High School (1932–33)[18]
  • Track & Field (boys)-3: Rockford High School (1926–27, 32–33, 34–35)[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Solarz, Steve. Aurora's East-West Football Rivalry. The History Press. Charleston, SC. 2014
  2. ^ Solarz, Steve. Aurora's East-West Football Rivalry. The History Press. Charleston, SC. 2014
  3. ^ Solarz, Steve. Aurora's East-West Football Rivalry. The History Press. Charleston, SC. 2014
  4. ^ "Big 7". Illinois High School Glory Days. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  5. ^ "Boys Basketball Championship Games". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "Boys Bowling Team Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 5 February 2015. 
  7. ^ "Girls Bowling Team Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  8. ^ "Chess Team Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  9. ^ "Boys Cross Country Team Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Girls Cross Country Team Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  11. ^ "Girls Field Hockey Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  12. ^ "Boys Football Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  13. ^ "Boys Golf Team Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  14. ^ "Girls Golf Team Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  15. ^ "IHSA Journalism Top 10 Teams". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 16 November 2009. Retrieved 22 December 2009. 
  16. ^ "Scholastic Bowl Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  17. ^ "Girls Softball Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  18. ^ "Boys Swimming & Diving Team Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  19. ^ "Boys Track & Field Team Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 27 April 2010.