WCIA — Olympia is leaving the Illini Prairie Conference, opting to join the Sangamo. The move will send the Bloomington-based Spartans south to face schools mainly surrounding the Springfield area, starting with the 2022-23 school year. Olympia was invited to join the Sangamo following North Mac’s departure to the South Central earlier this year, leaving the small school conference searching for a 10th member.
It leaves the Illini Prairie Conference with a vacancy, most notably in football. This is the league’s second shake-up this year, following St. Thomas More’s move to the 8-man game. That left the conference with just nine football schools, an unenviable spot to be in with a nine-game regular season. The opening paved the way for Paxton-Buckley-Loda to join the IPC in March after spending decades in the Sangamon Valley Conference. With Olympia’s exit, the league is essentially back to where it started before PBL joined, in need of another team.