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Sports

NIB 12 schools meet with Burlington Central, await decision

Sycamore's Kylie Feuebach drives toward the basket around Burlington Central's Hannah Overmyer during their IHSA class 3A regional semifinal on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2017 at Wheaton Academy in West Chicago. The Spartans won 33-18.  Photograph by Jeff Krage for Shaw Media
Sycamore's Kylie Feuebach drives toward the basket around Burlington Central's Hannah Overmyer during their IHSA class 3A regional semifinal on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2017 at Wheaton Academy in West Chicago. The Spartans won 33-18. Photograph by Jeff Krage for Shaw Media

The remaining Northern Illinois Big 12 schools made their pitch to Burlington Central, discussing topics ranging from stability to the possibility of moving beyond six teams.

Now, it’s time to play the waiting game.

Athletic directors and principals from DeKalb, Sterling, Sycamore, Kaneland and Yorkville met Friday at DeKalb High with the athletic director and principal from Burlington Central.

Burlington Central is expected to decide what to do with its future at a board meeting Tuesday.

“We all sat down and had a great discussion,” Kaneland athletic director and Northern Illinois Big 12 president Peter Goff said.

Burlington Central principal Chris Testone did not return messages seeking comment.

Sycamore athletic director Chauncey Carrick said he also thought the meeting went pretty good.

“We stated obviously why we thought we’d be a good fit for Burlington Central,” Carrick said. “They asked questions and we answered the best we could.

“Now, we’ll see what they do when they get together with their other administrators and go from there. I guess we’ll know Tuesday night. If they join the Fox Valley, that’s that. But if not then we’re still in the game.”

Carrick said he wasn’t sure which direction they were leaning.

One of the topics that came up, Carrick said, was how committed the five remaining NIB 12 schools are to staying together long term.

“They were in a really stable position for a long time [in the Big Northern Conference], then they got bumped out of a situation they thought was going to be stable,” Carrick said. “They really don’t want to – they’re looking for stability I guess, making sure the five of us are locked together.”

Carrick added that he feels the five remaining schools are “pretty locked together.”

Another topic that was broached was expanding past six teams.

“The problem is no one around us is really looking to come in and join,” Carrick said. “We told them we’re open to building some teams back up, but at this point I don’t know who’s available and they don’t know who’s available. But the discussions were along those lines rather than specifics.”

After being voted out of the Kishwaukee River Conference, Burlington Central was invited to join the Fox Valley Conference, and the school was expected to accept the invitation.

But then, five NIB 12 schools announced their decision to leave to help rebuild the Interstate 8, and the remaining schools started courting Burlington Central.

“We do not know anything until the Burlington Central board of education meets Tuesday,” Goff said.

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