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West Aurora players smile with excitement after taking second place in the Pontiac Holiday Tournament. | Patrick Gleason~For Sun-Times Media
West Aurora may be leaving the DuPage Valley Conference and joining the Upstate Eight for the 2014-15 school year.
The West Aurora School Board voted unanimously Monday night to allow West Aurora High School to accept the invitation of membership from the Upstate Eight Conference, pending resolution of several issues.
Whether the high school accepts the invitation will depend on whether the Glenbard Township High School District 87 board votes to permit Glenbard East High School to also accept its invitation to join the Upstate Eight.
The Upstate Eight’s invitation is intended to build a conference with an even number of teams. A decision from Glenbard East may not be finalized until February.
Even though School Board President Neal Ormond voted for the conference change, ultimately he wanted to see a shift that would benefit all the schools in both the DVC and Upstate Eight.
“The ideal world would have all the parties sitting down individually,” he said.
Ormond said he is concerned about voting on something that ties the fate of West to a decision that another school makes. Should Glenbard East decide not to join the Upstate Eight, West Aurora would not be able to join. In that scenario, West would not leave the DVC.
Ormond also raised concerns that the Upstate Eight schedules more weekday boys basketball games than the DVC — a policy that could come with a financial impact. He also wants to make sure there are opportunities for all the different levels of teams that West Aurora offers.
There also is a possibility the DuPage Valley Conference could delay West’s exit for another year, in which case they would not be able to join the Upstate Eight until the 2015-16 school year.
West High Athletic Director Jason Buckley and Activities Director Whitney Martino conducted surveys over the last few months, showing that a majority of the high school coaches favored the move. Both said it would make West more competitive in athletics.
Student board member Chase Woods wanted to stress that the conference shift had a broad, positive impact.
“From who I talked to, there’s a big misconception that we’re doing this for two or three teams,” Woods said.
West Aurora was a charter member of the Upstate Eight in 1963.
The district left the conference after the 1996-1997 school year, and joined the DVC for the 1997-98 school year.