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Prep Zone

Schwab: Burlington Central closing in on move

Burlington Central is widely believed to be headed to the new Kishwaukee River Conference, although it likely will be next month before the school solidifies the move.

On Monday, Central’s school board is scheduled to revisit the Kishwaukee River discussions but the board will not take action until its next meeting, Central athletic director Steve Diversey said.

Diversey said he’s not authorized to go into detail publicly yet about the proposed new Kishwaukee River Conference – a conference in which Central is expected to join Harvard, Marengo, Woodstock, Woodstock North and potentially others, beginning in 2016-17.

Central is currently part of the more far-flung Big Northern Conference’s East Division.

“Travel is always a consideration when you look at academics,” Diversey said. “When you’re traveling more time, there are competitions we go to where we spend more time on our bus than we do actually playing. At the same time, in our society, people have to work, so our parents can’t get off work in time to make it as far as we have to go.”

Diversey said an online survey about Central’s conference options was distributed to the community, adding that “if the [survey results] weren’t compelling enough to move forward, then we’d be staying put.”

Central, a school of about 1,090 students, has been mentioned in recent years as a potential target for the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference, but Diversey said Central isn’t quite large enough for the NI Big 12.

The Big Northern will move to 16 schools next school year as Johnsburg and Dixon come aboard. Diversey said the expansion of the BNC is creating scheduling challenges, noting that between the conference size and tournaments, the boys basketball program only has room for one regular nonconference game next year.

Central’s Fisher takes longer path: Our article this week about the four Kaneland freshman boys who were removed from Geneva’s freshman-sophomore lacrosse team struck a chord with some readers who could empathize with the boys’ plight.

Burlington Central senior AJ Fisher certainly can. As with Kaneland, Central does not have its own club lacrosse team, and efforts to find a co-op arrangement in recent years have proven unsuccessful.

So Fisher joined an independent lacrosse team – the Arlington Falcons – necessitating 45-minute drives to practices and matches. He also has played on other travel teams.

His mother, Karen Fisher, is proud of AJ’s determination, but wishes he had a simpler path.

“Although he has clawed and scratched his way to play high school lacrosse, all his hard work and effort has not been in vain,” Karen Fisher wrote in an email. “He has also landed a spot on Aurora University’s lacrosse team playing for Kylor Berkman. … I just think his road to college athletics would have been much easier if he went to a high school with a strong lacrosse program.”

• Jay Schwab is sports editor of the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5382 or jschwab@shawmedia.com.

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