Northern Illinois Conference (athletic conference)

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Northern Illinois Conference
AssociationIHSA
Members10
RegionIllinois (Boone, Stephenson, and Winnebago counties)
Locations
Northern Illinois Conference locations
The Northern Illinois Conference within Illinois

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.

Current members[edit]

School Location Mascot Colors Year Joined IHSA Classes A/AA[1] Website Reference
Auburn High School Rockford Knights          
Red, Black
1960 AA/3A/4A [2] http://www2.rps205.com/Schools/HS/Auburn/Pages/Home.aspx [3]
Belvidere High School Belvidere Bucs          
Gold, Purple
1963 A/AA/2A/3A [4] http://www.district100.com/Schools/Belvidere/Pages/Home.aspx [5]
Belvidere North High School Belvidere Blue Thunder               
Navy Blue, Scarlet Red, Vegas Gold
2006 AA/2A/3A/4A [6] http://www.district100.com/Schools/BelvidereNorth/Pages/Home.aspx [7]
Boylan Catholic High School Rockford Titans          
Green, White
1964 AA/2A/3A/4A [8] http://www.boylan.org/ [9]
East High School Rockford E-Rabs          
Red, Black
1940 AA/2A/3A/4A [10] http://www2.rps205.com/Schools/HS/East/Pages/default.aspx [11]
Freeport High School Freeport Pretzels          
Orange, Black
1916 AA/2A/3A [12] http://fsd145hs.sharpschool.net/ [13]
Guilford High School Rockford Vikings          
Columbia Blue, White
1963 AA/3A/4A [14] http://www2.rps205.com/Schools/HS/Guilford/Pages/Home.aspx [15]
Harlem High School Machesney Park Huskies          
Black, Orange
1963 AA/3A/4A [16] http://www.harlem122.org/education/school/school.php?sectionid=6 [17]
Hononegah High School Rockton Indians          
Purple, Gold
1982 AA/3A/4A [18] http://www.hononegah.org/education/district/district.php?sectionid=1 [19]
Jefferson High School Rockford J-Hawks               [20]
Red, White, Gold
1971 2A/3A/4A [21] http://www2.rps205.com/Schools/HS/Jefferson/Pages/default.aspx [22]

* Depending on the sport/activity, schools compete in a variety of class systems. The classes are listed in that order in this table.

Previous members[edit]

School Location Mascot Colors Year Joined Year Left Total Years Current Conference Website Reference
DeKalb High School DeKalb, IL Barbs          
Orange, Black
1916
1919
1917
1929
13 Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference https://sites.google.com/a/d428.org/dhs/home [23]
Rockford Central High School Rockford, IL Rabs          
Red, Black
1916 1940 24 School Closed http://www3.rps205.com/district/Pages/default.aspx [24]
Aurora East High School Aurora, IL Tomcats          
Red, Black
1916 1963 47 Upstate Eight Conference https://easthigh.d131.org/ [25]
Aurora West High School Aurora, IL Blackhawks          
Red, Blue
1916 1963 47 Upstate Eight Conference https://www.sd129.org/Domain/22 [26]
Elgin High School Elgin, IL Maroons          
Maroon, Cream
1916 1963 47 Upstate Eight Conference https://www.u-46.org/EHS [27]
Joliet Township High School Joliet, IL Steelmen          
Royal Blue, Gold
1916 1960 44 Southwest Prairie Conference http://www.jths.org/ [28]
LaSalle-Peru High School LaSalle, IL Cavaliers          
Red, Green
1936 1964 28 Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference https://www.lphs.net/ [29]
Rockford West High School Rockford, IL Warriors          
Red, Black
1940 1989 49 Converted to a middle school http://www3.rps205.com/district/Pages/default.aspx [30]

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.[31]

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. [32]

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.[33]

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.

[34]

Expansion[edit]

As of April 2018, requests from both Kaneland High School and DeKalb High School to consider them for possible admission to the conference starting in the 2019-20 school year were sent to current NIC-10 president Freeport principal Dr. Beth Summers.[35] On May 14, 2018, Kaneland was rejected by the NIC-10 and joined the Interstate Eight Conference. [36] Based on a May 24, 2018 announcement, the NIC-10 unanimously voted to table discussions toward expansion, denying DeKalb the opportunity to return to the conference after a 90 year absence.[37]

Membership timeline[edit]

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

State championships[edit]

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

  • Basketball (boys)-9: Rockford High School (1918-19, 1938–39); Elgin (1923–24, 24–25); Freeport (1925–26, 50–51); Joliet Township (1936–37); Rockford West (1954–55, 55–56)[38]
  • Bowling (boys)-8: Jefferson (2002–03); Freeport (2007–08); Guilford (2010-11, 2013-14); Hononegah (2014-15, 2017-18); Harlem (2016-17, 2018-19)[39]
  • Bowling (girls)-9: Rockford East (1996-97); Jefferson (2007–08); Harlem (1999–2000, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2004–05, 2010-11, 2016-17, 2017-18)[40]
  • Chess-3: Jefferson (1990–91); Auburn (1991–92, 92–93)[41]
  • Competitive Cheerleading (coed) 3: Belvidere North (2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19)[42]
  • Cross Country (boys)-2: Belvidere North (2009–10, 10-11)[43]
  • Cross Country (girls)-1: Guilford (1981–82)[44]
  • Field Hockey (girls)-1: Rockford West (1975–76)
  • Football-7: Rockford East (1974–75, 85–86); Guilford (1982–83); Belvidere (1993-94, 1994-95); Boylan (2010-11, 2011-12)[45]
  • 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)[46]
  • Golf (girls)-1: Guilford (1994–95)[47]
  • Golf (girls -individual)-1: RPS205 Coop Team (2015-16) Madasyn Pettersen (Guilford)[48]
  • Journalism-1: Jefferson (2006-07)[49]
  • Scholastic Bowl-2: Auburn (2007–08, 2014-15)[50]
  • Soccer (boys)-1: Boylan (2010-11)[51]
  • Softball-2: Harlem (1979–80, 98–99)[52]
  • Swimming & Diving (boys)-1: Rockford High School (1932–33)[53]
  • Track & Field (boys)-5: Joliet Township (1915-16); Rockford High School (1926–27, 32–33, 34–35); Freeport (2016-17)[54]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.ihsa.org/school/enrolla.htm
  2. ^ "Rockford (Auburn)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 12 June 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Rockford (Auburn)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 1 April 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  4. ^ "Belvidere (H.S.)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 12 June 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  5. ^ "Belvidere (H.S.)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 1 April 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  6. ^ "Belvidere (North)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 12 June 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  7. ^ "Belvidere (North)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 1 April 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  8. ^ "Rockford (Boylan)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 12 June 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  9. ^ "Rockford (Boylan)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 1 April 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  10. ^ "Rockford (East)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 12 June 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  11. ^ "Rockford (East)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 1 April 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  12. ^ "Freeport (H.S.)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 12 June 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  13. ^ "Freeport (H.S.)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 1 April 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  14. ^ "Rockford (Guilford)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 12 June 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  15. ^ "Rockford (Guilford)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 1 April 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  16. ^ "Machesney Park (Harlem)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 12 June 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  17. ^ "Machesney Park (Harlem)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 1 April 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  18. ^ "Machesney Park (Harlem)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 12 June 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  19. ^ "Rockton (Hononegah)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 1 April 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  20. ^ "Jefferson High School Basketball". CBS Interactive. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  21. ^ "Rockton (Hononegah)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 12 June 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  22. ^ "Rockford (Jefferson)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 1 April 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  23. ^ "DeKalb High School".
  24. ^ "Rockford High School".
  25. ^ "East Aurora High School".
  26. ^ "West Aurora High School".
  27. ^ "Elgin High School".
  28. ^ "Joliet Township High School".
  29. ^ "LaSalle-Peru High School".
  30. ^ "Rockford West High School".
  31. ^ Solarz, Steve. Aurora's East-West Football Rivalry. The History Press. Charleston, SC. 2014
  32. ^ Solarz, Steve. Aurora's East-West Football Rivalry. The History Press. Charleston, SC. 2014
  33. ^ Solarz, Steve. Aurora's East-West Football Rivalry. The History Press. Charleston, SC. 2014
  34. ^ "Big 7". Illinois High School Glory Days. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  35. ^ StateLineSportsNetwork.net
  36. ^ Kane County Chronicle
  37. ^ StateLineSportsNetwork.net
  38. ^ "Boys Basketball Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  39. ^ "Boys Bowling Team Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  40. ^ "Girls Bowling Team Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  41. ^ "Chess Team Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  42. ^ "Competitive Cheerleading Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  43. ^ "Boys Cross Country Team Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  44. ^ "Girls Cross Country Team Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  45. ^ "Boys Football Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  46. ^ "Boys Golf Team Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  47. ^ "Girls Golf Team Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  48. ^ "Girls Golf Individual Champions". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  49. ^ "Journalism Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  50. ^ "Scholastic Bowl Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  51. ^ "Boys Soccer Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  52. ^ "Girls Softball Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  53. ^ "Boys Swimming & Diving Team Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  54. ^ "Boys Track & Field Team Champions and Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 17 May 2018.