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Upstate Eight Conference in market for new member

The Upstate Eight Conference is looking for a new member to take the place of Lake Park, which decided earlier this week to depart for the DuPage Valley Conference.

The moves will be effective the 2013-14 school year. In a news release, Lisa Hichens, Batavia principal and acting president of the UEC, indicated "the first preference" is to find a school to replace Lake Park in the larger enrollment Valley side of the UEC, alongside Neuqua Valley, Waubonsie Valley, Metea Valley, East Aurora, Bartlett and South Elgin.

"Obviously if we don't find a school that fits that description we'll open up the entire conversation," Batavia AD Dave Andrews said Friday.

The four Tri-Cities schools – Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles East and St. Charles North – are in the UEC's River Division with Elgin, Larkin and Streamwood. The UEC expanded to two, seven-team divisions when Batavia and Geneva joined the conference for the 2010-11 school year.

The UEC will accept applications until Nov. 1, with Hichens serving as the contact person. Along with geography, finding a school that offers a compatible number of levels in its programs to other UEC members is a high priority.

Lake Park considered itself a better geographic fit in the DVC, according to Andrews. Lake Park will replace West Chicago, which recently decided to leave the DVC for the Metro Suburban Conference.

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