AURORA – Information was released on Tuesday that the six-team DuPage Valley Conference will merge with the Southwest Suburban Conference to form a new football-only conference beginning in 2024.
The merge alleviates some problems that the DVC schools have encountered in past years, including playing the same team twice in one year and having to schedule out-of-state opponents to fill their 9-game schedules. The DVC also had problems finding schools to join its current conference lineup of DeKalb, Metea Valley, Neuqua Valley, Naperville North, Naperville Central and Waubonsie Valley,
The merge may also be the result of the movement of a couple high schools between conferences. Last year, West Aurora announced a switch from the Southwest Prairie Conference to the Upstate Eight. That left a gap in the SPC, and Bolingbrook then announced a switch from the SWWC to the SPC. This left the SWWC with an uneven amount of nine teams.
The Daily Herald’s Kevin Schmit reported that the new conference will be broken up into 3 five-team divisions, based on enrollment and previous season success.
Waubonsie Valley will end up in the “green” division with Bradley-Bourbonnais, Lincoln-Way Central, Stagg and DeKalb. The “blue” division will consist of Homewood-Flossmoor, Lincoln-Way East, Lockport, Naperville North and Neuqua Valley. The “red” division will be Andrew, Lincoln-Way West, Metea Valley, Naperville Central and Sandburg.
One new factor in the new conference will be travel, as the closest schools in Waubonsie’s division are Stagg and Lincoln-Way Central at over 23 miles away. DeKalb (30 miles) and Bradley-Bourbonnais (45 miles) are the the two furthest schools in the division.
Another factor will be the possible threat to natural rivalry games, including Waubonsie-Neuqua, Waubonsie-Metea, Naperville North-Naperville Central, as those schools are all in different divisions now. However, they may schedule each other in division crossover games. The new schedule will consist of seven DVC-SWWC games and two non-conference games.