Rams and Broncos make the move to new athletic conferences
Glenbard East’s athletic teams spent three decades competing in the DuPage Valley Conference (DVC). The 2014-15 school year finds the Rams in a new conference. Glenbard East has left the DVC and joined the Upstate Eight Conference’s Valley Division. West Aurora has also joined the Rams in leaving the DVC for the eight-team Upstate Eight Valley level, which will include three other Aurora schools in the 2014-15 year (East Aurora, Metea Valley and Waubonsie Valley), as well as Bartlett, Neuqua Valley and South Elgin. Three of this year’s Upstate Eight Valley teams (Metea Valley, Neuqua Valley and Waubonsie Valley) plan to join the DVC at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year. The Upstate Eight Conference also includes another eight-team level—the River Division. While Glenbard East faced strong competition in all boys and girls sports in the DVC, the opposition was especially fierce in football. Exiting the DVC means the Rams won’t have to face the annual grind of battling traditional football powers like DVC members Wheaton Warrenville South, Glenbard North and Naperville Central. Glenbard East will still need to play winning football to secure a playoff berth. This year’s team will likely have to win six of its nine regular-season games to earn a spot in the IHSA Class 8A playoffs. The Rams will try to make the playoffs for the first time since 1999, when they won three straight post-season games and advanced to the IHSA Class 6A semifinals before losing to DVC rival Naperville Central (the eventual Class 6A state champion). Willowbrook remains in the West Suburban Gold Conference. The Warriors finished second to Downers Grove South in the conference standings one year ago. Willowbrook completed the regular season with an overall record of 7-2 and advanced to the IHSA Class 7A playoffs for the second straight season. St. Rita defeated the Warriors in the opening round of the post-season. Willowbrook has not won a playoff football game since 1990. Montini, which spent the last five seasons in the Suburban Christian Blue Conference, will join the Chicago Catholic League for football and soccer in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. Most of the Broncos’ other boys and girls athletic teams will continue to compete in the Suburban Christian Conference. The Broncos fell one victory short of winning a fifth consecutive IHSA Class 5A state championship when they lost 38-28 to Springfield’s Sacred Heart-Griffin in the 2013 title game on Nov. 30 at Northern Illinois University. That loss was the Broncos’ only setback of the season. The loss to Sacred Heart-Griffin also snapped Montini’s streak of 24 straight post-season victories. Montini will attempt to start a new streak of Class 5A football success in 2014. It appeared that the Broncos would play their 2014 playoffs games in the 6A level when the IHSA announced early this year that it would implement a “Success Advancement Component,” which would move a school up to a higher class of competition if it achieved certain levels of success in previous seasons. The IHSA stated in June, however, that the new policy would not be in effect until the 2015-16 school year.
Ludwig sets new school record for an 18-hole round
Junior Grace Ludwig of the Glenbard East girls golf team earned medalist honors and set a new school record at the Glenbard Open, a meet featuring the four Glenbard schools that took place Aug. 20 at Glendale Lakes Golf Club in Glendale Heights. Ludwig shot an 18-hole score of 83 on the par-72 course. Her winning score set a new record for the lowest 18-hole round in the history of Glenbard East’s girls golf program. The Rams finished second in the team standings of the four-team event with an overall team score of 373. In addition to finishing second at the Glenbard Open, Glenbard East won its first three dual meets of the 2014 season.
Warriors win a pair of dual meets
The Willowbrook boys golf team opened its season with Friday’s 160-201 dual-meet victory over Ridgewood at Sugar Creek Golf Course. Senior Henry Wallace of the Warriors won medalist honors by shooting a 9-hole score of 37 on the par-32 course. Senior Mike Madrid shot a 39 while senior Dominic McDonnell and junior Max Sarovich both carded rounds of 42. The Warriors improved to 2-0 with Monday’s 188-190 victory at West Chicago. Sarovich won medalist honors with a 44 on the par-37 St. Andrews Golf and Country Club course.