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Article updated: 10/31/2012 8:04 PM

Metro Suburban rescinds invitation to West Chicago

By Kevin Schmit

After West Chicago Community High School's decision to pursue an opportunity to join the Upstate Eight Conference, the Metro Suburban Conference is rescinding its month-old invitation for the Wildcats to join its seven-team league.

Unhappy with West Chicago's wavering interest, the MSC schools voted unanimously to reverse its previous vote to accept the school's application to join.

"We voted unanimously to let them in, and we voted unanimously to keep them out," said Glenbard South athletic director John Treiber. "We basically feel used in the fact that we helped them get out of the (DuPage Valley Conference) so they could try to get into the Upstate Eight."

In a Sept. 10 meeting of the West Chicago Community High School District 94 School Board, a 4-3 vote authorized school administrators to apply for membership in the Metro Suburban Conference and, upon acceptance, begin the process of withdrawing from the DuPage Valley Conference.

In turn the DuPage Valley Conference Board of Control on Oct. 3 officially accepted Lake Park High School as the new eighth member of the DVC. That move, however, caused West Chicago to apply for the open spot in the Upstate Eight Conference left by Lake Park's departure.

In an Oct. 23 email sent by West Chicago Principal Moses Cheng to Metro Suburban Conference administrators, Cheng expressed the desire to pursue the best fit available for his school -- part of the mandate from the District 94 School Board, according to Treiber. That desire meant pursuing the vacant spot in the Upstate Eight Conference.

Metro Suburban Conference administrators met the next day and on Friday sent the response to West Chicago that it was no longer welcome.

"We're not happy, and we don't want it to look like we're not letting them in and because of that we're forcing them to look at the Upstate Eight," Treiber said. "After expressing all along how happy they were to be joining the Metro Suburban, now they say they've found a better opportunity. If you want to look for a better opportunity, we're going to let you."

The Upstate Eight Conference announced earlier this month that it would accept applications to fill Lake Park's vacancy until Nov. 1. If West Chicago's application is not accepted by the UEC, the Wildcats likely would be forced to compete as an independent without conference affiliation next school year.

Attempts to reach Cheng and West Chicago athletic director Doug Mullaney were unsuccessful.

"I've been in education 33 years and I've never seen a situation like what West Chicago's doing," Treiber said. "We accepted them with open arms, and now they say they've found something better. I've never heard of a school doing something like that."

Follow Kevin on Twitter @kevin_schmit

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