Southland Athletic Conference

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Southland Athletic Conference
Established 2006
Association IHSA
Members 6
Region South and Southwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois

The Southland Athletic Conference (SAC) is a high school athletic and activity conference which comprises six schools located in the south and southwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.

The conference was one of three (the Southwest Suburban Conference (SWSC) and South Suburban Conference (SSC) to be carved from the long extant South Inter-Conference Association (SICA); a large athletic conference which broke apart in 2005 after 33 years of existence.


For 33 years prior to 2006, most of the public high schools in the south and southwest suburban Chicago area were a part of the South Inter-Conference Association (SICA) which by 2005 had reached a membership of 33 schools split into five divisions.[1] The conference covered a large geographic area and sociological spectrum "from the Indiana border to Joliet, from impoverished Ford Heights to affluent Frankfort, from virtually all-black Hillcrest to almost all-white Lincoln-Way Central and from Joliet, enrollment 4,993, to 1,066- student Rich South"[1] In 2004, the athletic directors voted 30–3, the principals' board of control voted 6–2, and the district superintendents voted 16–3 to approve a new conference realignment which was to take effect in 2006.[1] The realignment had been pushed because of long travel times and a reduction of sports offerings at some schools. The realignment split the association into three roughly equal and geographically contiguous conferences, one of which, the southeast, contained most of the predominantly African–American schools (compared to one school in the remaining two conferences).[1] It was from these schools that a majority of the votes against the realignment had come.[1] Leaders from these schools demanded an investigation from the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, and petitioned the Illinois State Board of Education to investigate as to whether this action violated rules on equity.[1]

In March 2005, ten schools announced that they were unilaterally leaving SICA to form a new conference, the Southwest Suburban Conference.[2] These ten schools collectively were among the largest in student population.[2] Shortly after the announcement, a board member from Lincoln-Way Community High School District, a district representing two of the schools leaving to form a new conference, was forced to resign after racially insensitive statements were left on a reporter's voice mail.[3]

Shortly after this, eleven more schools split off to form the South Suburban Conference.[4]

In April 2006, a federal civil rights lawsuit was filed against the schools which had left claiming that "(an) apartheid-like realignment used public funds to regress to separate but equal".[5] The suit was settled out of court with the three schools of Thornton Township High Schools District 205 joining the Southwest Suburban Conference, and the two schools of Thornton Fractional Township High School District 215 joining the South Suburban Conference.[6] The remaining six teams would be known as Southland Athletic Conference.[6]


School Town Team Name Colors IHSA Classes (2/3/4) Reference
Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School Bradley Boilermakers           AA/3A/4A [7]
Grant Park High School Grant Park Dragons           AA/2A/3A [8]
Kankakee High School Kankakee Kays           AA/2A/3A [9]
Herscher High School Herscher Tigers           AA/2A/3A [10]
St. Anne Community High School St. Anne Cardinals           AA/2A/3A [11]
Bishop McNamara High School Kankakee Fighting Irish                AA/2A/3A [12]



  1. ^ a b c d e f Temkin, Barry (6 February 2005). "SICA struggling for perfect balance". Chicago Tribune. p. 17. 
  2. ^ a b Sakomato, Bob (1 March 2005). "10 bail on SICA, form new league". Chicago Tribune. p. 6. 
  3. ^ Ziemba, Stanley; Greco Jr, Carmen (4 March 2005). "School board member resigns ; Derogatory remarks attributed to official". Chicago Tribune. p. 1. 
  4. ^ Ziemba, Stanley (16 November 2006). "Districts likely to settle SICA divisions ; New athletic groupings address diversity issue". Chicago Tribune. p. 1. 
  5. ^ Napolitano, Jo (11 April 2006). "Schools allege discrimination ; Suit sees race as key to prep conference split". Chicago Tribune. p. 1. 
  6. ^ a b Napolitano, Jo (30 December 2006). "Dispute ends over athletic league split". Chicago Tribune. p. 24. 
  7. ^ "Bradley (Bradley-Bourbonnais)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 28 April 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "Grant Park (Grant Park)" Check |url= value (help). Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 28 April 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "Kankakee (Kankakee)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 28 April 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Herscher (Herscher)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 28 April 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  11. ^ "St. Anne (St. Anne)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 28 April 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  12. ^ "Kankakee (Bishop McNamara)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 28 April 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2010.