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updated: 12/6/2017 9:25 PM

IEC helps Westmont buy time

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Westmont has bought time before it leaves the Interstate Eight Conference.

IEC principals and athletic directors decided at their monthly meeting Wednesday in Morris that Westmont would remain in the conference for all sports but football in the 2018-19 school year. The Sentinels will be an independent in football.

"We're still exploring some options, but this gives us some time and it gives some of the other conferences that are looking at us some time," said Westmont athletic director Rainy Kaplan. "And it solves the problem the Interstate Eight had with an odd number (of teams), too."

Since September, IEC members Coal City, Herscher, Lisle, Manteno, Peotone, Reed-Custer, Streator and Wilmington had all voted to withdraw from the IEC after 2018-19.

Seneca started the movement in March by opting out of the league in 2018-19. All this left Plano, Sandwich and Westmont on the outside.

In football Kaplan said the Class 3A Sentinels have difficulty competing in the IEC due to low numbers.

"I think we have the talent, we just don't have enough (people). The boys are playing both sides, offense and defense and special teams," she said.

The Metro Suburban and Northeastern Athletic conferences are possible future destinations, she said.

Meanwhile, there's the task of molding an independent football schedule. Kaplan said Seneca, Lake View, Quincy Notre Dame and Salem have so far been "locked down."

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