It made sense, no matter how one broke down the various scenarios spiraling out of the Sangamon Valley Conference's breakup this late spring/early summer, that Dwight High School likely would end up rejoining with longtime conferencemate Seneca, one way or another.
And that's exactly what happened ... first one way, and now another.
The Tri-County Conference announced on its Twitter account Monday morning it will add Dwight as its ninth member beginning with the 2021-22 school year. Dwight principal Andrew Pittenger confirmed the move Monday to Shaw Media, adding, "I think it will work out well for everyone."
Dwight left its longtime home in the Interstate Eight Conference in 2014-15 for the Sangamon Valley Conference, replaced in the I-8 by Streator. Seneca in 2018-19 followed Dwight to the Sangamon Valley for football and wrestling only, joining the Tri-County for other sports, such as basketball, volleyball, golf, softball and baseball.
That configuration of the Sangamon Valley will last only three years before being shaken up again, likely ending in the conference's dissolution.
Paxton-Buckley-Loda will be leaving for the Illini Prairie Conference after the upcoming school year. Iroquois West and Watseka have announced their intentions to join the Vermilion Valley Conference for 2021-22.
And just a few weeks ago, the formation of a Vermilion Valley Football Alliance was announced that will allow Seneca, Dwight, Clifton Central and Momence to continue playing conference football games against the outgoing SVC members as well as members of the current Vermilion Valley, beginning with the 2021 gridiron season.
That, however, left Dwight without a home in sports other than football. The most obvious suggestion for a landing spot proved to be the correct one, with Dwight joining the Tri-County in sports other than football and wrestling – although with the addition of Dwight, the Tri-County potentially could add wrestling as a conference sport, with four or possibly five members fielding programs.
The Tri-County Conference includes current members Woodland, Putnam County, Marquette, Midland, Henry-Senachwine, Roanoke-Benson, Lowpoint-Washburn and Seneca. Dwight will join in 2021-22. DePue and Peoria Christian left the league at the end of last school year.
Dwight (official IHSA enrollment of 253 1/2) will be the conference's third-largest member by current enrollment, behind Seneca (440) and Putnam County (280 1/2) and just ahead of Midland (200 1/2). The TCC's other members all have current enrollments between 108 and 180.