As soon as the Class 8A football pairings were announced by the IHSA Saturday night, Glenbard North coach Ryan Wilkens knew exactly what was about to happen.
The Panthers were about to lose a home playoff game.
Because of sanctions dating back to incidents following Glenbard North's 2007 playoff victory over visiting Fremd, the IHSA is forcing the Panthers to surrender this weekend's first-round home game to the Vikings. With a 5-4 record, 13th-seeded Fremd normally would play No. 4 Glenbard North (8-1) in Carol Stream.
Instead of playing in Carol Stream, however, Glenbard North will play on Fremd's home turf at 6 p.m. Saturday in Palatine.
"As soon as we drew Fremd I knew right away," Wilkens said. "We just brought the kids in and told them the situation. We just need to move forward."
Glenbard North beat Fremd 32-28 in the 2007 Class 8A quarterfinals in Carol Stream, a win that propelled the Panthers into the 8A title game. After the quarterfinal game, however, altercations led to an IHSA investigation and ensuing sanctions against Glenbard North.
On Monday the IHSA released portions of a 2007 letter from Executive Director Marty Hickman to Glenbard North detailing the sanctions.
"The next time you (Glenbard North) are scheduled to host Palatine (Fremd) High School in an IHSA playoff game, the game will be played at Fremd High School," the letter reads. "For the purpose of determining future hosting, the game will count as a home game for you even though it will be played at Fremd High School."
The game will count as a home playoff game for both Glenbard North and Fremd. That will be a factor in determining future playoff sites because teams with fewer home games in the early rounds are selected to host playoff games. No further sanctions will be made against Glenbard North's football program.
"We're just trying to focus on the play and not the hoopla surrounding the game," Wilkens said. "We can't change it, so we just have to accept it and deal with it the right way."
Follow Kevin on Twitter @kevin_schmit