New conference aims to reduce travel distance

Starting in the fall of the 2016-17 school year, Grayslake North will be joining a brand new conference, the Northern Lake County Conference, or the NLCC.
The current conference, the Fox Valley Conference, is comprised of 13 schools, many that were an hour to two hours away from North. This means that many students are required to leave early from class in order to meet their competition. This travel distance is a large part of the reason for the conference switch. The NLCC will be comprised of eight teams (Grayslake North, Grayslake Central, Grant, Wauconda, Antioch, Lakes, Round Lake, and North Chicago).
“[In the new conference] the farthest schools are Wauconda and North Chicago. I believe that the farthest that we’re going to be traveling is about 30 minutes,” said athletic director Tina Woolard.
This means missing less classes and getting home earlier for parents, coaches and students alike, but the benefits don’t stop there.
“I think that with less of a travel distance, we can be counting on seeing more fans. I think it’ll also be exciting because [students] will also know a lot of the kids from middle school or club sports. I think that it’ll provide for a friendlier atmosphere because you know [some of the] people there,” Woodard said.
Having more attendees at sporting events also means more revenue from ticket prices and concessions, in addition to the money that will be saved from gas and bus prices. “Even though it’s not a tangible cost, I think time is really worth a lot in people’s lives, and it’s going to save a lot of time,” Woolard said.
In addition to athletics, activity sponsors in the new conference have been meeting to organize new activities.
“Our activity sponsors have been getting together for a year looking to do things jointly in debate, and maybe math team, and probably a band thing. We’re also working on a conference-wide leadership conference, which will be held in August,” Woolard said.