FOOTBALL: IHSA releases mock districts
Last December, the Illinois High School Association passed a proposal to eliminate football conferences and playoffs in their current format, voting in favor of a district system.
The new districts will split teams into geographic and enrollment-based districts that maintain the eight-class playoff format. But during the voting period, no possible district mock-ups were made available to let coaches, administrators and school officials see what the new rule might mean for their schools.
That changed on Wednesday, when the IHSA sent member schools mock districts of what they could be seeing when the new procedures take effect prior to the 2021 season.
However, there are plenty of factors that will result in scores of changes between now and then. In a copy of the mock districts obtained by the Daily Journal Thursday, the IHSA said, “It is with 100 percent certainty that this district model will not match the district model that could be implemented in 2021.”
Some schools will be given success level multipliers that will increase their enrollments for classification purposes, and some private schools will be allowed to apply for multiplier waivers. All private schools are subjected to a multiplier, and some are able to get those waived.
Other changes could be seen as the number of playoff-eligible schools in the Chicago Public Schools system will have to be set. In the mock districts, 36 schools in Chicago are included that have not previously been playoff eligible.
The last potential factor is the growth of the Illinois 8-Man Football Association. Six schools have announced plans to leave IHSA 11-man football in favor of the 8-man game. There will almost certainly be more schools that join, and existing co-ops might be disbanded and other new co-ops will potentially form.
But for now, fans, coaches, students and everyone else will have to use Wednesday’s mocks to satiate their desire for conversation and speculation. Five of the area’s 14 IHSA football schools appear to be in Class 3A, the most local schools in any class.
Full listings for area schools and their proposed districts can be found below, with local schools bolded.
Class 2ANorth District B
Bismarck-Henning-Rossvile-Alvin; Central; Oakwood; Iroquois West; Momence; Chicago Christian; Watseka; Westville
Class 3A North District C
Carver; Catalyst-Maria; Chicago International Charter School-Longwood; Julian; Peotone; Seneca; Wilmington
Class 3A South District B
Reed-Custer; St. Thomas More; Dwight; Herscher; Monticello; Paxton-Buckley-Loda; St. Joseph-Ogden; Sullivan
Class 4A North District B
Illinois Valley Central; Coal City; Prairie Central; Bishop McNamara; Manteno; Mendota; Plano; Pontiac; Sandwich
Class 6A South District A
Bloomington; Hinsdale South; Kankakee; LaSalle-Peru; Lemont; Providence; Normal Community West; Ottawa; Wheaton St. Francis
Class 7A South District B
Bradley-Bourbonnais; Thornton; Thornton Fractional South; Lincoln-Way Central; Lincoln-Way West; Plainfield Central; Romeoville; Thornwood; Yorkville