Glenbard South announced Friday that it will join the Metro Suburban Conference for the 2010-2011 school year.
The Raiders will be independent for football next year, joining the MSC in that sport for the 2011 season. Athletic director John Treiber has five dates on next year's schedule filled out and expects to find opponents for the other four weeks by mid-winter.
Treiber met with the school's coaches Friday morning to inform them that the rumored move had been completed.
"They're very appreciative of the Metro Suburban to take us in because we really were in a tough spot with only one year to find a home," Treiber said.
The move comes about seven months after the sudden breakup of the Raiders' current conference, the Western Sun. When Kaneland, Yorkville, Sycamore, DeKalb and Rochelle pulled out of that league last spring, Geneva and Batavia quickly found a new home in the Upstate Eight. But the UEC was a poor fit for the Raiders because some of the schools in that conference are more than twice as big as Glenbard South. That left Glenbard South scrambling to find a new home on short notice.
"I've been working on it night and day, and pretty much for seven months now I've been trying to put something together," Treiber said.
Glenbard South brings the number of schools in the MSC to seven - Fenton, Ridgewood, Elmwood Park, Riverside-Brookfield and newcomers Illiana Christian and Timothy Christian. The latter two schools joined this year from the defunct Private School League and do not field football teams.
"It's a good fit for different reasons," Treiber said. "I think the travel is going to be a big plus for us from what we're used to in the Western Sun. That's a big key."
Glenbard South has played Fenton in football and other sports the past few seasons and developed a rivalry with Riverside-Brookfield in several sports in the postseason.
Glenbard South's enrollment this year is 1,449 students, Treiber said, but it is expected to shrink over the next couple of years.
"In all probability the Western Sun was going to outgrow us anyway, so I think in the long run this is going to be a good move," Treiber said.
The MSC is hoping to find one more school to give it an even number. Because the MSC schools have played each other twice each season in football the past few years, it would be relatively easy to quickly work a sixth football school into the mix.
There is also talk that West Chicago is again looking to leave the DuPage Valley, and some parents at West Chicago are organizing a petition urging the school to find a league in which it will be more competitive. West Chicago athletic director Doug Mullaney could not be reached for comment Friday night.