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Lincoln-Way Central quarterback Jeremy Wilson gets a pass off under pressure from the Lincoln-Way West defense.
Beginning next season, the SouthWest Suburban conference will realign with Lincoln-Way Central going to the Red Division and Stagg to the Blue Division.
Stagg athletic director Bob Fabrizio said per the conference’s guidelines, the league realigns every two years based on student enrollment.
“We knew it was coming based on our Sept. 30 enrollment figures,” Fabrizio said. “It’s going to be a tremendous challenge for our athletic program, that’s for sure. Any time you get to participate and play high school athletics, it’s a great thing. But we’re going to have to raise the bar. The offseason is going to be very important.”
Basically, Stagg and Lincoln-Way Central are swapping out in the conference, Fabrizio said. The Blue Division will include Joliet Central, Joliet West, Lockport, Lincoln-Way East, Stagg, Bolingbrook, Homewood-Flossmoor and Sandburg. The Red Division will be: Lincoln-Way Central, Bradley, Andrew, Thornton, Thornwood, Lincoln-Way West, Lincoln-Way North and Thornridge.
The realignment is for all sports, but it already is being felt in football. Lincoln-Way East has canceled its Week 2 series with Montini in favor of playing Lincoln-Way Central.
‘South Side Doubleheader’ set for Saturday
For fans looking to take in a local college football game and follow it up with a tradition-rich high school contest Saturday, the good folks at St. Xavier University and Brother Rice have made that possible in scheduling the “South Side Doubleheader.”
The defending NAIA national champion Cougars have scheduled their first-round playoff game at noon against William Penn at Deaton Field, 3700 W. 103rd St.
Once that game ends, fans are encouraged to head up the block to Brother Rice, sitting at 99th and Pulaski, where the Crusaders will host rival St. Rita in a Catholic League semifinal at 2:30 p.m.
Lemont coach Eric Michaelsen, on the benefits of playing at home Saturday against Crete-Monee in a Class 6A semifinal: “It should be a pretty cool atmosphere. But it doesn’t guarantee anything.”
Contributing: Tina Akouris