(WCIA) — St. Teresa was voted out of the Central Illinois Conference, at a CIC principal’s meeting on Monday morning. Sullivan abstained from voting after choosing to leave the conference, while the remaining schools voted 6-1 to remove St. Teresa. This will go into effect following the 2022-23 school year.
“The member schools of the CIC conference met today,” said the official CIC statement. “Sullivan withdrew from the conference, and the remaining schools voted to remove St. Teresa from the conference. Both action items will take place at the conclusion of the 2022-2023 school year. This was not an easy decision. The member schools have nothing but the highest respect for the leadership at Sullivan and St. Teresa.”
In November, member schools filed a motion to vote, with the rationale that the conference was in danger of dissolving, and removing St. Teresa would help retain schools, while making it more attractive for others to join.
“In light of recent events, the Central Illinois Conference is in danger of dissolution. Several member schools have been exploring opportunities in neighboring conferences. As such, one must give consideration to the potential implications of that action. It is our belief that the removal of St. Teresa High School from the Central Illinois Conference will add stability to the current membership, while also making the conference an increasingly more attractive destination for other schools of interest.”Motion to vote filed November 2020
St. Teresa athletic director Todd Vohland feels the reasoning was unclear, and the vote was largely influenced by their football program. The Bulldogs were the CIC conference Championship this season, while sharing a title with Central A&M during the 2021 shortened season.
“[Football] was the sport that was brought up again, and again, and again, and today we had our team referred to as the ‘Macon County All-Stars’ twice, which I felt was tremendously disrespectful to our kids and our coaches,” says Vohland, who attending Monday’s meeting. “If a public school is having some success, then it must be the athletes and the coaches, but if a private school is having success then somehow it was our advantage and we cheated, or something along those lines. In my personal opinion, I never believed that we got totally the truth on why this came about.”
Vohland added that they are exploring the option of competing independently following the 2022-23 season. Sullivan has accepted an invitation to joint he Lincoln Prairie Conference beginning the 2023-24 school year.
In a statement from Sullivan athletic director Ryan Aikman, he states: “Given the current dynamics of the Central Illinois Conference, we felt the Lincoln Prairie Conference was not only a more stable option but a better overall fit for all of our athletics programs.”