Glenbard North showing interest in Upstate Eight
The conference dominoes may be falling again.
The Daily Herald has learned that Glenbard North, answering a letter of inquiry from the Upstate Eight Conference, responded with an interest in investigating leaving the DuPage Valley Conference for the UEC in the 2015-16 school year.
Glenbard North athletic director Matt Bowser confirmed the exchange Sunday night, stressing that no final decision has been made.
"We have not made a decision," Bowser said. "It's an actual possibility that we would leave, but we need to meet with our coaches, our community. We're trying to explore all our options right now."
The back and forth between the DVC and the UEC began in the fall of 2012 when West Chicago announced it was moving from the DVC to the UEC starting this school year. At the same time, Lake Park shifted from the UEC to the DVC.
Then in early 2013, Glenbard East and West Aurora announced they were leaving the DVC for the UEC in the fall of 2014. That'll leave the DVC as a six-school conference next school year, but in 2015-16 the District 204 trio of Metea Valley, Neuqua Valley and Waubonsie Valley will switch from the UEC to the DVC to create a DVC field of nine schools.
Unless, of course, another DVC school decides to depart the DVC for the UEC. That's where Glenbard North might come in.
"We responded with initial interest, that's all at this point," Bowser said. "It's something we've heard from our coaches that we should at least look into."
According to Bowser, Glenbard North's enrollment will drop to around 2,200 students in the near future. The three District 204 schools are all larger, with Neuqua Valley's enrollment close to 4,000 students.
Although the Panthers, the two-time defending DVC football champions, have experienced their share of athletic success, Bowser believes they need to investigate the ramifications of being in a league with three larger newcomers.
Bowser said representatives from Glenbard North and the UEC will meet in the next month to discuss how best to move forward.
"We're still early in this process," Bowser said. "We know how serious of a decision this is, and we're going to look at everything as we approach it."
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