DeKALB – The facilities, the students, the community – DeKalb athletic director Peter Goff said the member schools of the DuPage Valley were impressed with them all.
The DeKalb School District 428 Board on Tuesday unanimously voted to accept the DuPage Valley’s invitation to join for the 2019-20 season.
Goff said at the meeting Tuesday that the main concern brought to him from parents is the size of the schools the Barbs will be competing against – the closest school in size has 800 more students than DeKalb.
It also was an issue raised by DeKalb school board member Howard Solomon.
“They also say they have a lot more resources,” Goff said. “But we’re going to have to run into them eventually, why not get them now so we can prepare for them going into that?”
Goff said the DuPage Valley schools visited DeKalb High School on Sept. 27 and offered the invitation the next day. He said the DeKalb students gave tours of the facilities, and the DVC was impressed with both.
“They were impressed with the facilities. And the indoor 200-meter track,” Goff said. “And they were very impressed that we had students lead the tour. ... I’ve been in a lot of gyms, and I’ve always said the Chuck Dayton is one of the best new gyms I’ve seen.”
DeKalb has been looking for a conference for almost a year. Its current conference, the Northern Illinois Big 12, announced its dissolution last year, with a bulk of the teams joining Plano and Sandwich in reforming the Interstate 8.
That left a handful of teams, including DeKalb, scrambling to find a new home. DeKalb became the last team do so when the invitation was accepted at the board meeting.
“The DuPage Valley Conference will be a good fit for DeKalb High School due to the competitive athletic programs, as well as the breadth of activities offered at each of these campuses,” DeKalb High School Principal James Horne said in a statement. “The competition and opportunities found within this conference will provide our students with various pathways for success. For the remainder of the 2018-19 school year, I will be working with our athletic director, Peter Goff, to develop a transition plan.”
Kaneland, Sycamore, Morris, Ottawa, LaSalle-Peru and Rochelle will join Plano and Sandwich in the new I-8. Sterling and Geneseo will head to the Western Big 6. Yorkville got an invite to the Southwest Prairie Conference.
That left DeKalb searching for a new home and trying to avoid becoming an independent. That search ended with the approval Tuesday.