New Northern Lake County Conference off and running
The “labor of love” known as the Northern Lake County Conference is officially underway this fall.
The new conference actually began on July 1, according to www.chsd117.org, and made new league siblings of eight schools: Antioch, Lakes Community High, Grand, Grayslake Central, Grayslake North, North Chicago, Round Lake and Wauconda. Grayslake North and Grayslake Central had been in the Fox Valley Conference, while the other six schools were in the North Suburban-Prairie Conference.
Competitions among the conference schools began with the start of the current fall-sports season. The NLCC's first leadership conference was held Aug. 13, and the NLCC's website is running at northernlcc.org. The league's website has videos from various people about the new conference, a welcome letter to visitors and a spot called “Archive of Champions” that will be filled as schools claim league titles.
Catherine Finger, superintendent of Grayslake High School District 127, who made the “labor of love” comment on the website in reference to the conference's birth, recently said that the first year of NLCC has been “a joyful experience.”
“NLCC colleagues have been meeting over the past several months to prepare for our first year together,” Finger said. “There is a spirit of camaraderie and a sense of doing something great for kids that we all share.”
Finger said that her district had been looking for ways to have student athletics and activities while allowing them to keep closer to home. The schools selected were picked on the basis of distances between them and their commonalities of philosophies for student programs.
Google Maps said a trip from Grayslake North to former conference rival Hampshire High School would require about an hour-long trip, while trips to schools such as Woodstock North and Crystal Lake Central are listed as being at least 40 minutes.
With the new conference, the longest trips within the conference for Grayslake North teams would be less than half an hour.
Finger said she consulted with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) early in the process, even though the IHSA does not govern conference formations. Then, each prospective conference member school had to have a resolution of support from its board of education for the process to go forward.
“We share a collective interest in letting student needs and desires shape our programming, and we look forward to including more fine-arts activities and events in the new conference,” Finger said. “Further, we also share a common vision in expanding our conference partnership to shared services between districts.”
Finger said the opportunity to work within the new alliance is exciting.
“Grayslake Community High School District 127 could not be happier with the results,” Finger said. “Our student athletes, coaches and families no longer have to pay the price of extraordinarily long travel in order to participate in a quality high school athletic program. We are delighted with our new conference and grateful for the effort of our new NLCC colleagues to make our inaugural year successful and enjoyable.”
Organizations in this Story
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