With three schools leaving the North Central Illinois Conference at the end of the 2010-11 school year, the question of Illinois Valley Central High School’s affiliation with the decades-old conference has been the topic of many conversations.
IVC High School principal Kenton Bergman reports the school will not only remain in the NCIC, but has also taken an active role in securing its future.
All IVCHS sports, save for football, will participate in the NCIC Conference in the 2011-12 school year. IVCHS will participate in the Mid-State 6 Conference for football.
Three schools make up the current NCIC. IVCHS, Princeton High School and Peru St. Bede Academy are in the newly revised NCIC. The conference no longer carries the Lincoln Division in its title. It is simply NCIC.
Bergman will serve as the conference president.
IVC stayed in the NCIC and has helped draft a three-year plan for recruitment and expansion of the conference. Ideally, Bergman would like the NCIC to have six to eight schools for a “sustainable conference.”
He notes, “it can’t be by individual school, but a combination of several schools, saying ‘yes’ at the same time to make that happen.”
Bergman credits IVC Athletic Department Director Dennis O’Boyle for developing a great schedule despite having three schools in the conference.
“Denny did a great job. He really expanded our schedule. We are set for the next two years.”
IVC joined the NCIC-Lincoln Division in 2006.
IVC took the place of Rochelle, who had been in the NCIC since its inception in 1929. Rochelle’s departure from the conference was the first school to leave in 42 years.
At one time, there were 12 schools in the NCIC, prompting the Lincoln and Reagan divisions to be formed.
Bergman said he is proud to carry on the tradition of the NCIC considering its long-standing history and is impressed by the organization of the conference as well.
“It is an established conference with a solid set of by-laws and constitution. But we can offer flexibility in meeting the needs of individual schools wanting to join. For instance we can adapt the schedules to accommodate travel concerns. We can be flexible,” Bergman said.
The IVC HS football teams will compete in the Mid-State 6 Conference against Peoria Richwoods, Peoria Central, Peoria Manual, Peoria Notre Dame and Quincy Notre Dame. NCIC rivals Princeton and Peru St. Bede compete in football in the West Central Conference and Big Rivers Conference respectively.