The pieces are now in place for West Aurora and Glenbard East to leave the DuPage Valley Conference after next school year and join the Upstate Eight for the 2014-15 school year.
“We’re pleased, now it’s just a matter of making it official (by sending letters of notification to both leagues),” West Aurora athletic director Jason Buckley said. “We feel we’ve taken the steps to improve our school and program with this move.”
The DuPage Valley Conference Board of Control, comprised of the league’s school principals, voted unanimously last Friday at its monthly meeting to allow the move. It reversed last month’s vote, which would have prohibited the move until 2015-16 because the schools hadn’t given the two years notice required by league bylaws in time to exit any earlier.
“This decision is the result of the collective understanding among the Board of Control that the move to the Upstate Eight is in the best interest of both Glenbard East and West Aurora,” DVC president and Wheaton Warrenville South principal David Claypool said in a released statement.
“We now set our sights to seeking replacements for them with hopes that the DVC will continue as one of the premier conferences in the state.”
The next question is who will the DVC lure to return to eight members, which would make football scheduling much easier for the league’s member schools.
Speculation has centered on one or more of the District 204 high schools — Neuqua Valley, Waubonise Valley, Metea Valley — being among the possible candidates.
“I’m not exactly sure what might come of this,” Buckley said. “I do know the schools in the UEC have indicated they are looking forward to having two eight-team divisions.”
Responding to questions by e-mail, Claypool said it was the DVC’s intent to have two new members in place for the 2015-16 school year but, “Until we inquire across our area, it’s impossible to know if we can reach that goal.”
As for finding replacements, he said, “We have drafted a letter that will be sent to the identified area schools in the very near future. We will be as comprehensive as possible as we seek to replace our departing schools.”
Asked about the UEC’s three District 204 members he said, “At this point we have not excluded any options, but our number one challenge is to find schools that best meet the needs and goals of the DVC.”