Vikings football new SWSC merge

Vikings football new SWSC merge

On Oct. 10, it was announced that the Southwest Suburban Conference, home to our H-F Vikings, would be merging with the Dupage Valley Conference for the start of the 2024 football season.  

Including only nine teams before, this conference has become mega, soon to be featuring 15 teams. It will be broken up into three subdivisions: blue, red and green. These divisions were decided upon the enrollment and success formula.

H-F was placed in the blue division and the schools in this group have the highest enrollments and football success. These schools include Lincoln-Way East, Lockport, Neuqua Valley and Naperville North. 

The head coach of our home football team, Terrell Alexander, felt that all the divisions were quite equal, not one division is easier or more difficult than the other. 

“Well I’ll be quite honest, there is no weaker division when we are talking about the schools that we play against, even this year before the merger, we always just play a tough schedule,” he said.

 The new conference will fill up a lot more of the team’s schedules. Most of the teams from the DVC were struggling to find competition around them and were forced to go out of state to add more games and competition to their schedule. 

On the other hand, the SWSC didn’t mind more competition and was open to letting the extra DVC teams join their conference. 

“Well, it still allows for us to play a wide array of teams. This year in our conference 7 out 9 teams qualified for the playoffs. It still allows for the old SWSC and the DVC to have some parody in the conference and still be playoff-eligible,” Alexander voiced.

From the player perspective, they feel that this merger is a good thing for their team, and will only benefit. Junior Finn Schmidt said, ¨It feels good now, it gives us more competition. I’m excited to play these new teams because I think it will push us more and make us better.¨

The main problem with the merger is the distance between some of these schools. Most of the schools in the DVC are around an hour’s drive from H-F. Alexander expressed this geographical difficulty, ¨The two areas to me are not close enough graphically, it does not create for really good rivalries.¨

He also expressed the need for rivalries in the conference. 

¨I think you still have a divide between the entire conference, the SWSC side and the DVC side. I think if you’re gonna have a conference there needs to be some natural rivalries there and I don’t know how those will really play out.¨ 

In the future Blue division, Lincoln-Way East should be the top contender, as they are currently 11-0 in their season and 4-0 against their conference teams. Right behind them falls H-F at 5-5 and Lockport at 5-5.

Alexander also said that compared to these other 8A schools, they are falling behind on player count. ¨What I will say is we have to get our football player numbers to match our enrollment. Our enrollment says 2,000 but the number this year I think we topped out at 70 players on our roster, but with nutrition and injuries it put us down to 60 when we should be closer to 90 players¨ 

Though the player count concerns, Schmidt said ¨I think it’s unfair for the other teams in the conference because H-F football is coming.¨

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