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updated: 3/10/2014 11:04 PM

Glenbard North will stay in DVC -- for now

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The Daily Herald has learned that Glenbard North officials notified the DuPage Valley Conference and the Upstate Eight Conference that it intends to remain in the DVC for at least the next two school years.

In doing so Glenbard North rejected the UEC's invitation to join its league for the 2015-16 school year.

"Based on all the information we had, we're staying committed to the DVC for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years," Panthers athletic director Matt Bowser said on Monday. "I can't say things won't change in the future, and we need to keep our options open. But last week we did tell the DVC and the Upstate Eight that we'd be declining this invitation."

Citing a shrinking enrollment and the DVC's addition in 2015-16 of District 204 schools Metea Valley, Neuqua Valley and Waubonsie Valley, Glenbard North in January answered a letter of inquiry from UEC officials indicating an interest in discussing a departure from the DVC to the UEC in 2015-16.

Bowser, however, said his school decided to commit to the DVC through that time frame for multiple reasons, including its competitiveness in many sports. The Panthers recently won DVC titles in football, wrestling and boys basketball.

Bowser also stressed the importance of providing opportunities for every Glenbard North athlete to compete in various levels in the DVC. Even with a declining enrollment the Panthers still offer freshman C level competition in certain sports.

Finally, Bowser said it was a decision based on the information the school has at the present time. Added all together, the DVC remains the best option.

"These are both excellent conferences with excellent schools," he said. "At this time the best option is for Glenbard North to stay in the DVC."

When Glenbard East and West Aurora leave the DVC for the UEC next school year, the DVC will be a league of six. When the three District 204 schools join the following year, the DVC will jump to nine member schools.

Because of the uncertainty of the conference landscape in coming years, Bowser believes Glenbard North has a responsibility to keep future options open.

"I still have concerns about our competitiveness down the road with some of our programs, but the bottom line is we have to work to keep building those programs," Bowser said. "It's a tough situation, but we will always try to do what's best for our school and our community."

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