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Sports

Sandwich releases statement on I-8 breakup

Interstate Eight logo
Interstate Eight logo

SANDWICH — After declining to comment last Friday on the pending breakup of the Interstate Eight Conference, Sandwich High School administration Wednesday afternoon released a press release with a statement on the school's take on recent events which seem likely to split the 12-team league at the end of the 2018-19 school year.
It reads:
 
"On August 28, it became clear that seven of the 11 schools in the I-8 wanted to leave the conference in pursuit of their own conference. Sandwich was not privy to the conversations the other I-8 schools were having and was only made aware of the meetings, via email, after the fact. Once the intentions of the majority came to light, Tom Sodaro, principal of Sandwich High School and Tim Gipe, athletic director of Sandwich High School, began to weigh their options.
"The options currently available are as follows: Join another conference, form a new conference and/or add schools to the remaining conference teams.
"Sandwich High School is committed to the entire student body. With this being said, we are looking to the best interest of our athletic department and our extracurricular activities.
"When more information becomes available, we will share it with the community."
 
Eight current Interstate Eight members — Wilmington, Herscher, Streator, Reed-Custer, Peotone, Lisle, Manteno and Coal City — have made public their intent to ask their school boards to withdraw from the I-8 and, after that is completed, begin the formation of a new, eight-team conference. Wilmington's, Herscher's and Streator's school boards have already voted to leave the Interstate Eight over the past eight days, with the remainder of the meetings scheduled for the next seven days, culminating with Coal City on September 27.
Sandwich, Plano and Westmont are the three Interstate Eight Conference schools which have been left out of talks to join the proposed, as-yet-unnamed new league. As a result, the three could be left without a conference beginning with the 2019-20 school year barring, as Sodaro's statement said, recruiting new schools to the I-8, joining an existing conference or forming a new league.
Seneca committed last school year to leaving the Interstate Eight for the Sangamon Valley (football and wrestling) and Tri-County (other sports) at the end of the current school year.

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