District forms new athletic conference

With the extensive planning done over the recent years, the district is looking forward to joining a new conference set to be created no later than 2016.
District 127 has decided to form a new conference after years of discussion with several nearby school districts and their conferences. The schools include Grayslake North, Grayslake Central, Lakes, Antioch, Grant, North Chicago, Wauconda and Round Lake.
“Through my entire time I’ve been very concerned with travel times that our kids and coaches have had to endure. Starting a conference of our own had begun from conversations about three to four years ago,” said superintendent Dr. Catherine Finger.
The well-being of the students, coaches and parents have been a major factor within the creation of the conference which contains benefits the whole community can welcome.
“I think it will be great for our district. It creates a conference that has a very level playing field, and the drives will be very short. Not only is it expensive for the district to pay for [long travel times], but it puts a huge burden on the student-athlete and extending their nights sometimes to 11:00 on a school night,” said varsity basketball coach Todd Grunloh.
Tina Woolard, athletic director, also hopes to see the change in conference bring great benefits for not only students, but parents and fans as well.
“We have always been looking for a more geographically favorable conference. It really makes it hard on our kids to leave classes earlier to make it to a game/match. It will also be easier for parents to travel; we’ll get more parents even at away matches, or at our home matches we’re going to get more parents from other schools,” Woolard said.
Although the new conference is full of teams previously not in North’s current one, they still pose great competition and rivalry opportunities for the athletic program.
“It is a very balanced conference that will offer a great deal of competition for conference championships. It will be exciting to finally get the opportunity to play these schools and rivals in a conference situation,” Grunloh said.
The conference name and logo have not yet been decided, and, similar to the creation of Grayslake North, will be chosen through submissions by all eight schools.
“We want to have a contest with the kids for the logo name and everything as soon as possible because now it’s official. We want to invite participation from every single student from all eight high schools,” Finger said.
With all the new teams in close vicinity, rivalries between other schools are sure to rise. School officials hope to create conference-wide opportunities in the future as well.
“The comradery we’ll develop with schools right next door will add to the fun and atmosphere of athletic events. I’d like to see us do some combined school activities too,” Finger said.
The conference creation is right around the corner, and the community is eager to see what excitement and possibilities it will bring to them and their schools.