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La Grange

Montini, St. Francis among five schools planning move to Chicago Catholic League

Remaining Suburban Christian Conference schools find a new home, still hope to reform SCC

Add one more move in the shuffling of conference affiliations.

Montini and St. Francis are among the group of remaining Suburban Christian Conference high schools that committed to compete in the Chicago Catholic League beginning in 2014-15. Marmion, Marian Central and Aurora Christian will also be in the CCL. The five teams will be competing in boys soccer and football.

It is unusual for schools to be in a conference in only a couple sports, but Montini athletic director Bob Landi insisted the long-term goal is to reform the SCC.

Seven SCC schools announced their move to the Metro Suburban Conference in May. Those teams – IC Catholic, Wheaton Academy, Aurora Central Catholic, Chicago Christian, Guerin, St. Edward and Walther Lutheran – planned to begin play in the MSC in the 2014-15 school year as well. It was a move that caught the other schools in the conference by surprise, according to Landi.

“Football is the issue in the state,” Landi said. “The only reason the schools left is because they couldn’t compete in football. The reality in our situation is the Catholic League really bent over backwards to accommodate our situation.

“Our intent is to attempt to rebuild the SCC in the near future.”

For football, Montini, St. Francis, Marian Central and Marmion plan to join Fenwick in a proposed Green Division. In addition to those four conference games, each of those five teams will play one crossover game against each of the other three currently existing CCL divisions as well as two nonconference games.

Rosary, a girls only school, is still undecided on its future since the CCL is only for boys sports. Many CCL schools have girls sports compete in the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference. The East Suburban Catholic Conference could also be a possibility for girls sports.

The five SCC schools moving to the CCL are only committed for two school years. The option to stay in the league for a longer period of time and to join in more sports was open, according to Landi. For other sports, Landi expects the five SCC schools to continue to play each other as well as scheduling extra games with CCL teams.

“If we can rebuild the SCC, fine,” Landi said. “If we’re unable to there’s a strong likelihood that we’ll be in the Catholic League for the long term.”

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