The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Niles West Athletics Heads to The North Conference


As the school year begins and athletics start up again, students are noticing there are new opponents our school is facing this year. Why is that? Well, this year Niles West has switched conferences, leaving the South Central Suburban League [CSL] to join the CSL North.

West will no longer be playing teams in the CSL South including New Trier, Evanston Township High School, Maine South, Glenbrook South and Glenbrook North. Now, West will be competing in the CSL North with Highland Park, Maine East, Maine West, Vernon Hills and Niles North.

When trying to balance out the competition, high schools are bound to switch conferences. Every three years, the Illinois High School Association [IHSA] determines which schools are at the top of the CSL North and the bottom of the CSL South and switches them. This process is designed to make sure each team has fair competition based on their skill. This time around, West has switched with Deerfield High School, and as they head up to the South CSL conference.

The North conference, in which the competition is not as fierce, gives sports that did not do as well last season a chance to rise up. But, the lesser competition can also leave some teams with disadvantages.

There are many different opinions going around our school about this surprising change. Some students are disappointed with it, while others see it as a chance to win more games.

Volleyball head coach Stacey Roth makes it clear that the conference change was not beneficial to her team, as the girls volleyball team usually finished in the top three of the CSL South, meaning the competition was fair for this team. Now being in the North, changes are being made for the team.

Roth worries that because they will not be as challenged during conference games, they are going to go into playoffs blind and won’t know what to expect.

“Our practices are always tough but our practices are going to be even tougher. They are going to be more intense and game-like situations because we have to practice the way we have to play in the playoffs, and since we won’t be as challenged before playoffs, we have to change how we run practices so that the girls are getting trained for the playoffs,” Roth said.

In her opinion, there was another way to go about the conference change, which benefited everyone.

“It should have been done sport-by-sport, that’s what was on the table, that’s what the people have voted on, but the scheduling took a lot of work, so I think some people in charge, not in our school, did not want to go through that scheduling process,” Roth said.

She goes on to say that if the school were to keep the success of our individual sports teams in mind, they would do a sport-by-sport conference change.

“If we were going to do what’s best for kids and best for teams we would be doing the sport-by-sport so if it benefited the team to go to the North [CSL] great. If it benefited a certain team to stay in the South [CSL] that would be best for them,” Roth said.

On the other hand, West’s football team sees this change as nothing but new competition.

“Varsity wise, it doesn’t really matter. We will play whoever, whenever,” head coach Nick Toresso said.

Though he does admit it will be a change, he is open to that change and the benefits it could bring for the team.

“CSL North plays good football. There are good athletes and there is a little less depth on that side because numerically we don’t have as many kids. Our program is smaller than the South [CSL]. I wouldn’t say it’s easier, but a different type of competition,” Toresso said.

The conference change also gives Niles West more chances to hold rivalry games against our district school, Niles North. Usually, each sport at West is allowed one game against Niles North, and those games are usually packed with fans from both schools. However, now that Niles West is in the same conference as Niles North, they will compete against each other more times this year.

Fortunately, this conference change does not mean Niles West will not see any of the teams from the CSL South anymore. Coaches are allowed to schedule non-conference games with schools not in the CSL North, however both of the teams coaches have to agree on it.

Athletic Director Dr. Dana Krilich, who oversees sports programs, also has high hopes for West’s teams this year.

“I think we will be more competitive. I always feel that all of our sports programs work really hard but we don’t always get those Ws [wins] on the scoreboard, but now we might actually get some of those, and some of those trophies,” Krilich said.

Krilich wants the students to have fun, enjoy our programs and look at the conference change as a new opportunity, not a setback.

“We need to look at it as an opportunity and a positive thing and to just do our best and see how many trophies we can bring back. I think that’s the most exciting part. Let’s bring some hard work home,” Krilich said.  “Regardless of which side or conference we are on, I just want them to enjoy being a member of the wolfpack. Work hard, try your best and have fun.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Niles West News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *