Three Rivers Conference (Illinois)

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Three Rivers Conference
Association IHSA
Members 14
Region Northwest Illinois
Three Rivers Conference locations
The Three Rivers Conference within Illinois

The Three Rivers Conference, also known as the TRAC-8 (Three Rivers Athletics Conference), is a high school conference in northwest Illinois. The conference participates in athletics and activities in the Illinois High School Association. The conference comprises small public, and two private, high schools with enrollments between 200-600 students in portions of Bureau, Henry, Lee, Rock Island, and Whiteside counties.

Current Membership[edit]

School Location Mascot Colors Enrollment IHSA Classes 2/3/4[1] IHSA Music Class[2] IHSA Football Class[3] IHSA Cross Country
IHSA Cheerleading Class[2]
Bureau Valley
High School
Manlius, IL Storm           301 A/1A/2A B 1A 1A Small squad
High School
Erie, IL Cardinals                213 A/1A/1A
(P'town Coop- A/1A/2A)
C 1A
(P'town Coop - 3A)
1A Small squad
High School
Fulton, IL Steamers           309 A/1A/2A C 1A 1A Small squad
Hall High School (Illinois) Spring Valley, IL Red Devils                394 2A Small squad
High School
Kewanee, IL Boilermakers           536 A/1A/2A B 3A 1A Small squad
High School
Morrison, IL Mustangs           299 A/1A/2A B 1A 1A Small squad
Newman Central Catholic
High School
Sterling, IL Comets                228 (376.2 adjusted) A/1A/2A B 2A 1A Small squad
Orion High School Orion, IL Chargers           336 A/1A/2A 2A 1A Small squad
Princeton High School Princeton, IL Tigers           518 3A Small squad
High School
Prophetstown, IL Prophets           278 A/1A/1A
(Erie Coop - A/1A/2A)
C 1A
(Erie Coop - 3A)
1A Small squad
High School
Port Byron, IL Rams           302 A/1A/2A B 2A 1A Small squad
Sherrard High School Sherrard, IL Tigers           479 3A Small squad
St. Bede Academy Peru, IL Bruins           320 (468.6 adj.) 2A Small squad
Rockridge High School Taylor Ridge, IL Rockets           354 2A Small squad

Sources:IHSA Conferences,[4] IHSA Coop Teams,[5] and IHSA Member Schools Directory[6]


The Three Rivers Conference formed in 1975, and was largely the result of the dissolution of two conferences that had also included high schools in Iowa. Fulton, Morrison, Riverdale, Savanna and Sterling Newman had been part of the Illowa Conference along with Iowa schools North Scott of Eldridge, Central Clinton of De Witt, and St. Mary's High School of Clinton. Erie and Prophetstown were members of a league with the Iowa-based Pleasant Valley, Camanche and Northeast of Goose Lake. The seven Illinois schools joined with Amboy to form the new TRAC-8 conference.

Throughout the conference's history, alignment changes included the departure of Savanna, which went on to join the Northwest Upstate Illini Conference, and the additions of Bureau Valley in the mid-1990s and Kewanee in 2010. Upon the addition of Kewanee, the league became known as the TRAC-9. In addition, Erie and Prophetstown formed a cooperative to share certain sports programs, including football and wrestling.

On January 12, 2012 the conference approved expansion for six schools to join the league beginning in the 2013-14 school year. Included in the expansion are Orion, Rockridge, Sherrard, Princeton, St. Bede Academy of Peru and Spring Valley Hall. The six additions make the Three Rivers a 15-team league, one of the largest in Illinois. The conference will be split into two divisions, with Interstate 80 being the dividing line.

Current members Amboy, Bureau Valley, Erie, Fulton, Morrison, Prophetstown, Riverdale and Sterling Newman will comprise the North Division. New members Orion, Peru St. Bede, Princeton, Rockridge, Sherrard and Spring Valley Hall will join current member Kewanee in the South Division.

Following the 2015-16 school year, Amboy will leave the conference and join the Northwest Upstate Illini Conference for the 2016-17 school year.[7]


The Three Rivers Conference dropped football from 1999 until the 2013-14 school year. During this hiatus, the league offered championships in other sports,[8] and member schools, either independently or as part of a co-operative, participated in the football-exclusive Big Rivers Conference.

In early 2012, it was announced that Orion, Rockridge, Sherrard, all former members of the Olympic Conference, and Princeton accepted an invitation for full membership in the Three Rivers Conference at the start of the 2013-14 school year. These four schools, along with Hall, Kewanee, and St. Bede Academy make up the seven teams in the newly created South Division. The North Division includes Amboy-La Moille, Bureau Valley, Erie-Prophetstown, Fulton, Morrison, Newman Central Catholic, and Riverdale. The decision to create a geographical North-South alignment was based upon a desire to maintain existing rivalries and minimize travel times.[9]

The football schedule includes six intra-divisional games and three rotating inter-divisional cross-over match-ups. Each division will award a conference champion.[10] Because the Big Rivers Conference and the Three Rivers Conference, co-operatives excepted, consist of the same member schools with this most recent expansion, the decision was made to drop the Big Rivers name in favor of the longer-standing Three Rivers Conference.[10][11]

Conference Champions


NORTH- Sterling Newman

SOUTH- Taylor Ridge (Rockridge)


See the Big Rivers Conference article for information about its history, achievements, and participating schools.

Membership History[edit]

School Location Mascot Colors Year joined Previous conference Year left New conference Consolidations
Amboy HS Amboy Clippers                1975 SHARK 2016 Northwest Upstate Illini n/a
Bureau Valley HS Manlius Storm           1999 Tri-County n/a n/a Manlius+Walnut+Western+Wyanet=
Bureau Valley (1995)[13] Students from Bradford High School, Deactivated (2001)
Erie HS Erie Cardinals                1975 Bi-State n/a n/a n/a
Fulton HS Fulton Steamers           1975 Illowa n/a n/a added some Albany (1944)
Kewanee HS Kewanee Boilermakers           2010 NCIC n/a n/a n/a
Morrison HS Morrison Mustangs           1975 Illowa n/a n/a n/a
Newman Central Catholic HS Sterling Comets                1975 Illowa n/a n/a n/a
Prophetstown HS Prophetstown Prophets           1975 Bi-State n/a n/a added Lyndon (1969)
added Tampico (1996)
Riverdale HS Port Byron Rams           1975 Illowa n/a n/a Port Byron+Cordova+Hillsdale=
Riverdale (1955)[14]
Saint Bede Academy Spring Valley Bruins                n/a n/a n/a

Competitive Success[edit]

The Three Rivers Conference has won 11 state championships in IHSA sponsored athletics and activities, 16 if wins by member schools participating in the Big Rivers Conference are counted.[15]

State Champions[edit]

Boys Track

  • Newman Central Catholic (2012-2013 1A)

Boys Cross Country

  • Newman Central Catholic (2009-2010 1A)

Girls Cross Country

Boys Football

  • Amboy (1984-85 2A)
  • Bureau Valley (2005-2006 3A)*
  • Fulton (1976-1977 2A)
  • Fulton (1991-1992 2A)
  • Hall (1995-1996 3A)**
  • Hall (2001-2002 3A)**
  • Morrison (2009-2010 2A)*
  • Morrison (2011-2012 2A)*
  • Newman Central Catholic (1990-1991 1A)
  • Newman Central Catholic (1994-1995 1A)
  • Newman Central Catholic (2004-2005 2A)*
  • Newman Central Catholic (2010-2011 2A)*

* Participating in Big Rivers Conference **Participating in NCIC

Boys Wrestling

  • Newman Central Catholic (2010-2011 1A)
  • Newman Central Catholic (1984-1985 A)
  • Savanna (1976-1977 A)
  • Savanna (1978-1979 A)
  • Savanna (1979-1980 A)
  • Savanna (1981-1982 A)


  • Morrison (2010-2011 2A)


External links[edit]