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Final champions 
crowned in NCIC

Published: Monday, July 18, 2011 7:13 p.m. CST • Updated: Monday, July 18, 2011 7:19 p.m. CST

The 2011 spring season closed the book on the North Central Illinois Conference.

The NCIC originated in 1929 with the softball and baseball conference forming in the late-’70s. Girls’ soccer came around in 2002.

Ed Young, whose Princeton Tigresses won the final soccer crown, will miss how the NCIC prepared his teams for the postseason.

“Aw man, for sure,” he said. “Every sport was very competitive. It had some of best competition you’re going to find around the state.

“The better competition you play in the regular season the better you are prepared for your postseason run. That’s the sad thing about losing that conference. The games are definitely more passionate and heated. The girls are thinking about getting all-conference or beating a rival. Trying to replace that with just a regular season game is hard to do.”

For now, that’s all the options PHS has. While Mendota and Rock Falls are heading to the Big Northern and Hall to the Tri-County, PHS has no conference options on the table to turn to at this time.

“We don’t have a conference to fall into. We can’t create that aura around the games,” Young said. “I hope some day we’re able to align ourselves into a conference that soccer will have an arena to play.”

Softball

Chillicothe IVC repeated as NCIC champions, having been Lincoln Division champs in 2010. The Lady Ghosts also shared two Lincoln crowns, claiming four NCIC titles overall in five years in the league.

Streator was the perennial powerhouse in the early years of NCIC softball, winning seven straight titles from 1981-1987. The Lady Bulldogs won six more, including 2006 in their swan song.

Geneseo won the very first title in 1978 and was steady throughout its NCIC run. The Lady Leafs won 11 titles overall, including a stretch of eight from 1993-2009.

Rock Falls shared the first two Lincoln Division titles in 2007-08 with IVC and repeated again solo in 2009 for its fourth overall championship.

The Hall Lady Red Devils won three straight NCIC titles from 1989-1991, sharing the third with Streator.

Princeton never won the league title, its best showing a second-place finish (7-3) in 2010.

NCIC softball champions

By school: Streator 13, Geneseo 11, Kewanee 3, L-P 3, Hal 2, Sterling 2

Year by year

1978: Geneseo

1979: Sterling

1980: Geneseo, Sterling

1981: Streator

1982: Streator

1983: Streator

1984: Streator

1985: Streator

1986: Streator

1987: Streator

1988: Geneseo

1989: Hall

1990: Hall

1991: Hall, Streator

1992: Streator

1993: Geneseo

1994: Geneseo

1995: Geneseo, Kewanee, Streator

1996: Kewanee

1997: LaSalle-Peru

1998: Streator

1999: Geneseo

2000: Geneseo

2001: Streator

2002: Sterling

2003: Geneseo

2004: Kewanee, Geneseo, Rock Falls

2005: Geneseo

2006: Streator

2007: LaSalle-Peru (Reagan); Rock Falls/IVC (Lincoln)

2008: LaSalle-Peru (Reagan); Rock Falls/IVC (Lincoln)

2009: Geneseo (Reagan); Rock Falls (Lincoln)

2010: Sterling (Reagan), Chillicothe IVC (Lincoln)

2011: Chillicothe IVC

NCIC baseball

The first recognized champion of NCIC baseball were the Dixon Dukes in 1978. Previously, some of the NCIC schools, including Princeton, played baseball over the summer, but did not have enough teams to be recognized as a conference champion. Princeton moved to spring ball in 1986.

LaSalle-Peru got a good start in the NCIC baseball ranks with five-straight titles from 1981-1985. The Cavs finished with nine overall, including Reagan Division crowns in 2007 and 2009 before departing for the Northern Illinois Big 12 this year.

In addition to the first crown, Dixon won four from 1987-1991 and seven overall.

Jim Beltramini’s Prince-ton Tigers won two shares in a three-year stretch in the early 90s. They shared the title with Dixon in ‘91 and Ottawa in ‘93.

The IVC Grey Ghosts won the NCIC baseball championship three times since joining the conference in 2007. They placed second in 2007 and 2008.

Neither Hall or Kewanee won conference.

NCIC baseball champions

By school: L-P 9, Dixon 7, Ottawa 5, Rock Falls 4, Rochelle 3, IVC 3, Mendota 3, PHS 2, Streator 2, Sterling 1, Geneseo 1, Hall 0, Kewanee 0.

Year by year

1978: Dixon

1979: not available

1980: not available

1981: LaSalle-Peru

1982: LaSalle-Peru

1983: LaSalle-Peru

1984: LaSalle-Peru

1985: LaSalle-Peru

1986: Ottawa

1987: Dixon

1988: Sterling

1989: Dixon, Ottawa

1990: Dixon, LaSalle-Peru and Rochelle

1991: Dixon, Princeton

1992: Rochelle

1993: Ottawa, Princeton

1994: LaSalle-Peru

1995: Ottawa

1996: Mendota

1997: Mendota

1998: Geneseo, Mendota

1999: Rochelle, Dixon

2000: Dixon

2001: Ottawa

2002: Ottawa

2003: Rock Falls

2004: Rock Falls

2005: Streator

2006: Rochelle

2007: LaSalle-Peru (Reagan); Rock Falls (Lincoln)

2008: Streator; Rock Falls (Lincoln)

2009: LaSalle-Peru (Reagan) Chillicothe IVC (Lincoln)

2010: Streator (Reagan) and Chillicothe IVC (Lincoln)

2011: Chillicothe IVC

NCIC girls soccer

Princeton won four of the 10 league titles, sharing the crown in 2002, 2004 and 2005 before winning outright this spring. Geneseo proved to be the team to beat year in and year out before leaving the conference this year.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

Editor’s note: This is the final story in a year-long series looking at the North Central Illinois Conference, which disbanded at the end of the 2010-11 school year with the departure of Hall, Mendota and Rock Falls, leaving Princeton, Chillicothe IVC and St. Bede with no conference to turn to.

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