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Football

NIC-10 rejects Barbs' bid for membership, DeKalb now looks to be independent

DeKalb catcher Ava Jensen applies a late tag to  Belvidere's Danielle Heinz in the third inning of the Barbs' home opener Thursday March 22, 2018. Mary Beth Nolan for Shaw Media
DeKalb catcher Ava Jensen applies a late tag to Belvidere's Danielle Heinz in the third inning of the Barbs' home opener Thursday March 22, 2018. Mary Beth Nolan for Shaw Media

The Northern Illinois Conference 10 rejected DeKalb High School’s bid to join the league, athletic director Nic Kearfott said Friday.

That leaves the Barbs facing an independent schedule in the 2019-2020 school year.

“We are hoping a spot opens in the NIC-10 or Upstate 8 in the future,” Kearfott said in a text message to the Daily Chronicle. “We are currently preparing to be independent of the 2019-2020 school year.”

Kearfott did not respond to messages seeking further comment.

The Barbs have been searching for a conference since the Northern Illinois Big 12 announced it would disband after the 2018-2019 season. That was brought about by LaSalle-Peru, Ottawa, Morris, Rochelle, Sycamore and Kaneland joining Sandwich and Plano in a new-look Interstate 8.

Sycamore and Kaneland were late additions to the I-8. Originally, Sycamore, Kaneland, DeKalb, Sterling and Yorkville were looking to form a conference of their own, or maintain a version of the NIB-12, even reaching out to Burlington Central.

But the Rockets ended up rejoining the Fox Valley Conference, and Sterling and Geneseo went to the Western Big 6. The I-8 added Sycamore and Kaneland to replace them.

A proposal before the IHSA would replace conferences with predetermined districts based on geography and class. If passed, it would not begin,until at least the 2019 season.

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