Lake Park leaving UEC to join DVC

Updated 10/5/2012 11:46 PM
  • Lake Park will soon leave the Upstate Eight Conference for the DuPage Valley, sources said Friday.

      Lake Park will soon leave the Upstate Eight Conference for the DuPage Valley, sources said Friday. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

Lake Park High School is about to become the eighth member of the DuPage Valley Conference.

Wheaton Warrenville South principal David Claypool, the president of the DVC Board of Control, confirmed the move Friday and said an official statement would be released as early as Saturday.

"I haven't been here long, but Lake Park is a school that, from what I've heard, in the past has expressed interest in joining the DVC should we have an opening," Claypool said. "We extended the invitation and they accepted."

Upstate Eight Conference president Lisa Hichens, Batavia's principal, announced through an emailed release a vacancy in the 14-team league. Seeking to fill the vacancy for the 2013-2014 school year, Hichens wrote the UEC's preference was to find a team for the Valley Division.

The release mentions six Valley Division schools -- Bartlett, East Aurora, Metea Valley, Neuqua Valley, South Elgin and Waubonsie Valley -- but does not mention Lake Park, a current Valley Division competitor, as a future member of the UEC.

With the signal that Lake Park no longer will be a member of the UEC, thus creating the vacancy, recent speculation that the Lancers were replacing West Chicago in the DuPage Valley Conference became a reality.

The DVC Board of Control, in a Sept. 19 meeting, established a committee to find a replacement for West Chicago, which the week before announced its departure to the Metro Suburban Conference. It took only two weeks for the DVC to find its match in Lake Park, which will make its move at the beginning of next school year.

According to a source, Lake Park's school board approved a DVC invitation Monday and sent an acceptance letter to the DVC on Tuesday. The DVC Board of Control officially accepted Lake Park on Wednesday. Lancers athletic director Pete Schauer declined to comment when reached Friday.

The email from Hichens notes that applications from public schools for one open spot in the UEC will be accepted until Nov. 1.

"It's a great move for the DVC," Claypool said. "Lake Park is a great match for us."

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