Riverside-Brookfield High School has found a new conference for its athletic teams, but they will have to wait a year to start competing in it.
Starting with the 2024-25 school year, RBHS will compete in an expanded Upstate 8 Conference. For 2023, the RBHS football team will play for one season in the Southland Conference before moving to the Upstate 8 the following season.
Most other sports teams at RBHS will compete this year in the remnant of a shrunken Metro Suburban Conference with longtime conference mates Ridgewood, Elmwood Park and Westmont.
RBHS has long been searching for a new conference, but especially since it was announced that all the private schools in the Metro Suburban Conference would be leaving the conference to join either the Chicago Catholic League or the new Chicagoland Christian Conference.
In the 2024-25 school year RBHS, Ridgewood and Elmwood Park will all join the Upstate 8 conference as will former conference member West Aurora, giving the league 14 schools, up from the current 10.
The Upstate 8 will probably split into two divisions in 2024-25, at least for football, but the makeup of those divisions has yet to be determined.
The Upstate 8 currently is made up of Elgin High School, Larkin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Streamwood, East Aurora, Glenbard South, Glenbard East, West Chicago and Fenton.
“We’ve been searching for a permanent home for a while,” said RBHS boys basketball coach Mike Reingruber. “It’s a great move for all sports, and we’re looking forward to the competition and we’re creating new rivalries.”
The Upstate 8 Conference was founded in 1963 and has traditionally been known as a powerhouse basketball conference led by East Aurora, West Aurora and Elgin.
“Those are all historic gyms in the Chicago area that we’re definitely looking forward to competing in,” Reingruber said.
The original eight member schools of the Upstate 8 were Elgin, Larkin, East Aurora, West Aurora, DeKalb, Glenbard East High School, Wheaton High School and Naperville High School.