ELMHURST – The Metro Suburban Conference announced a massive expansion after the league unanimously approved the addition of seven current Suburban Christian Conference schools.
The seven schools involved in the move are IC Catholic, Wheaton Academy, Aurora Central Catholic, Chicago Christian, Guerin, St. Edward and Walther Lutheran.
The schools will join the MSC for the 2014-15 school year, beginning July 1, 2014, according to a news release.
“On behalf of the MSC, we are thrilled to be welcoming these seven schools to our conference,” said Todd Leden, Fenton principal and president of the Metro Suburban Conference Board of Control, in the release. “The additional opportunity for student growth and achievement is very exciting and we are confident this expansion will be a positive experience for all communities involved.”
The Metro Suburban Conference already includes Glenbard South, Riverside Brookfield, Timothy Christian, Elmwood Park, Fenton, Illiana Christian and Ridgewood.
IC Catholic athletic director Tom Schergen said the move should help the Knights be more competitive across all sports and levels.
“We’re going into a conference that is very attractive to us in terms of competitive balance along with geographic location,” Schergen said. “We have nothing against the SCC schools or teams or fans, players, coaches. We have nothing but the utmost respect for everybody. We just had to look at our school and where we fit.”
Since Illiana and Timothy don’t have football teams and all seven SCC teams planning to move do, the MSC would go from five football teams to 12.
Schergen downplayed the importance of football in IC’s decision to move.
“To us it’s not just a football driven thing,” he said. “We’ve looked at everything, varsity and lower levels in terms of finding a solution where we’re competitive across the board.”
Details about divisions alignments and schedules will be ironed out at meetings between the athletic directors in the coming months.
The remaining teams in the Suburban Christian Conference – Montini, St. Francis, Aurora Christian, Marian Central, Marmion and Rosary – would likely need to add teams to the league or join other conferences. Rosary is a girls only school, so the conference would have only five boys athletic programs.