Marian Central’s conference affiliation for football will change in the 2014-15 school year, but most of its rivalries will remain intact.
The Hurricanes, along with four other Suburban Christian Conference schools, will join the Chicago Catholic League for football and boys soccer in the fall of 2014. That is the year when seven current SCC members will leave to join the Metro Suburban Conference.
The SCC and CCL released a joint statement on Monday about the merger. Marian superintendent Tom Landers released his school's statement on Tuesday.
“We are pleased with this new agreement,” Landers said. “And we look forward to maintaining existing rivalries, while at the same time having the opportunity to compete against other Catholic schools that have not been a part of our schedule of competitions in the past.”
The remaining SCC schools – Marian, Aurora Christian, Montini, St. Francis, Marmion (boys only) and Rosary (girls only) – will maintain the SCC for all other sports as a five-team conference.
With the merger, the CCL will form four five-team divisions for football and play three crossover games (one from each of the other divisions). That leaves the athletic directors with two nonconference games to fill their schedules.
Marian AD Mike McGovern said the crossover games will count because the IHSA requires divisions to have at least six teams to earn automatic playoff bids.
Under the new arrangement, Marian, Marmion, Montini, St. Francis and Fenwick will comprise the CCL’s Green Division. Aurora Christian will play in the CCL's White Division with Bishop McNamara, De La Salle Institute, St. Ignatius and St. Laurence.
“It’s about the best thing considering the situation,” Hurricanes football coach Ed Brucker said. “It’ll be good for us. There will be a little more travel, but it’s not so bad since we’ll be travelling on Friday and not during the week.”
The CCL Blue Division has some of the state’s top big schools with Mount Carmel, Loyola, Providence Catholic, Brother Rice and St. Rita.
The SCC Blue Division, where Marian, Montini, Marmion, St. Francis and Aurora Christian played the last two seasons, also has been one of the state’s best league. Montini has won four consecutive Class 5A state championships, while Aurora Christian has won back-to-back Class 3A titles.
Marian, which opens with Fox Valley Conference schools Crystal Lake South and McHenry again this season, will have an even tougher schedule in the CCL.
“There’s not any easy teams,” Brucker said. “It will be a challenge every week.”
Alignments for boys soccer have yet to be determined and will be arranged by geography and parity.