The Western Big 6 is now a little bit bigger.
Starting in the 2019-20 school year, the conference will no longer just feature Quincy, Galesburg, Alleman, Moline, Rock Island, and United Township.
After votes Wednesday night and Thursday morning by school boards for Geneseo and Sterling, the Maple Leafs and Golden Warriors will be joining as part of the yet to be renamed conference.
Geneseo Athletic Director Joe Nichols tells WGIL that the move to the Western Big 6 was the most logical of their options.
“It’s not secret we were part of the talks with the Interstate 8 Conference. And the way that formed it looked like our travel was just going to grow significantly. We were going to be making trip every night of close to two hours,” said Nichols. “Sterling was out on an island kind of by themselves without anywhere to go. So ,we kind of teamed up and said ‘hey this Western Big 6 thing looks like it could be a possibility, lets pursue that.'”
Galesburg Athletic Director Jeff Flater tells WGIL that the move is a good fit for all of the Big 6.
“I mean it really makes a lot of sense. We compete with them (Geneseo) in everything, and Sterling – we compete with them in a lot of things,” Flater said. “We just played them in a regional championship over at Dunlap for boys basketball. So, it really is a fit.”
He also says that for years people have thought that Geneseo should be part of the Western Big 6, but the conference wanted even numbers – so the ability to add both Geneseo and Sterling was perfect.