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Genoa-Kingston rejects invitation, plans to stay in BNC

Published: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 4:58 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 5:01 p.m. CDT

A day after principals representing schools that will form the Kishwaukee River Conference announced they had contacted three schools with invitations to join, the group has received its first rejection letter.

Genoa-Kingston released a statement Wednesday morning, stating it had received an invitation to join the KRC, but that it was planning to remain in the Big Northern Conference. G-K was one of the three schools contacted along with Richmond-Burton and Johnsburg.

R-B principal Tom Lind and Johnsburg principal Kevin Shelton did not immediately respond to phone calls and emails regarding their schools' response on Wednesday.

"After careful considerations dating back to this past fall, Genoa-Kingston High School will stay in the Big Northern Conference," G-K principal Brett McPherson wrote in a statement issued by the school. "Our top priorities are the GK students and the GK community, and we feel the BNC is the best fit for them.  We respect the decision of the 3 schools leaving the BNC and look forward to a continued positive relationship with those schools."

As it stands, Woodstock, Woodstock North, Harvard, Burlington Central and Marengo remain the five schools committed to joining the KRC starting in the fall of 2015. Conferences typically require a two-year notice that a school is leaving.

The Woodstock schools will be the smallest in the FVC next year when Johnsburg leaves to re-join the BNC. They felt they were at a competitive disadvantage and searched for other options.

Burlington, Harvard and Marengo, citing consistent issues with long travel for competition, liked the idea of joining Woodstock and Woodstock North, even if the KRC starts as a five-team league. That would leave those schools with a glut of nonconference dates to fill, but they felt that was better than all the travel.

Harvard voted unanimously to join the conference at its May 21 meeting with athletic director Matt Rife adding "there are other schools that have already expressed interest" along with acknowledging that the conference will need six members to have an automatic playoff bid in football.

The KRC members hopes for one, or all three of the invitees to become founding members of the KRC by Aug. 1, 2014. The letter in the email was signed by the principals of the five schools.

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