Batavia-Kaneland football showdown a no-go

A matchup that surely would have had area football enthusiasts buzzing next season appears to be a non-starter.

Area powerhouses Batavia and Kaneland – both state semifinalists in their classes a year ago, and off to 3-0 starts this year – were negotiating a potential agreement to open the 2013 season against one another, but that possibility appears to have fallen through.

Batavia announced earlier this week that it will open its season against Glenbard North through the 2015 season. Kaneland principal Chip Hickman – a former coach and administrator at Batavia – acknowledged "we were disappointed an agreement could not be reached," but emphasized there are no hard feelings.

"At the end, Batavia needed to do what's good for them, and we respect it," said Hickman, a Batavia resident.

Batavia opened this season at Glenbard North and won a 42-41 thriller.

Hickman said Kaneland will continue its quest to find a larger school to open the 2013 season against.

"I think we have to because of the success [Kaneland has had]," Hickman said. "I think that's not really a choice at this time. Smaller schools don't look to play state semifinalists, and with the type of kids that we have."

Kaneland was interesting in exploring the Batavia matchup at a neutral site that could have accommodated a larger crowd whereas Batavia was more inclined to play on campus, but Hickman said that would not have been a deal-breaker.

Kaneland and Batavia had many memorable games as conference rivals, most recently in the Western Sun Conference, until Batavia left for the Upstate Eight and Kaneland joined the Northern Illinois Big 12 after the 2009 season.

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