Athletic Conferences

Harold "Red" Grange was still in high school at Wheaton when the Little Seven Conference was organized. In his autobiography, he noted, “The winter of my senior year [1921–1922] a Little Seven Conference was organized. … At our first annual track competition in St. Charles I won six events and made several marks that were to stand for almost twenty years.”[1]

     The Little Seven Conference was organized during the 1921–1922 school year; however, more information is needed to confirm which teams participated in football in 1921, as newspaper reports vary.[4]

 
Dates Batavia Geneva

Before 1921[2]

No athletic conference No athletic conference

1921–1995 (football season of 1994)

Little Seven Conference[3]

Little Seven Conference

1995–2006 (football season of 2005)

Suburban Prairie Conference

Suburban Prairie Conference

 

1995

 

Red Division

 

Red Division

1996–1998 (football season of 1997)

Red Division

White Division

1998–2003 (football season of 2002)

Red Division

Red Division

2003–2006 (football season of 2005)

North Division

North Division

2006–2010 (football season of 2009)

Western Sun Conference

Western Sun Conference

2010—

Upstate Eight Conference

Upstate Eight Conference

 

2010—

 

River Division

 

River Division

 


           
[1]Grange, The Red Grange Story, p. 15.
[2]According to Illinois sports historian, Robert Pruter, there once existed a Kane County Conference, which included Batavia, Dundee, Geneva, and St. Charles, and which merged with Naperville, West Chicago, and Wheaton of the DuPage County League to form the Bi-County League (1917–1919), which broke up after two seasons.—Pruder, "West Suburban Leagues"
[3]The name may have derived from that of the Big Seven Conference, which was organized in 1916 as the Northern Illinois High School Conference (a short-lived name), and included East Aurora, West Aurora, DeKalb, Elgin, Freeport, Rockford, and Joliet. The Little Seven Conference—Batavia, Dundee, Geneva, Naperville, St. Charles, Sycamore, and Wheaton—included smaller high schools (“lights”), while the Big Seven Conference included larger high schools (“heavies”). In comparison, the Little Eight Conference was organized in 1919 and included Plano, Hinckley, Paw Paw, Waterman, Rollo, Leland, Somonauk, and Sandwich—the “light schools in Kendall, DeKalb, and LaSalle counties” (Geneva Republican, Friday, 17 October 1919).
[4]According to Illinois sports historian, Robert Pruter, two founding members of the Little Seven Conference—Naperville and Wheaton—were part of the DuPage County League from 1919–1921, then left in 1922 "to join the newly formed Little Seven Conference."