SHELBYVILLE — Friday night football under the lights will become a little different beginning in 2024 for the Shelbyville Rams. Their Central Illinois Conference (CIC) is merging with the Heart of Illinois Conference (HoIC) starting with the 2024-25 academic year. This merger applies to football only.
The new, improved Heart of Illinois Conference will have 16 teams, with large schools and small schools in their own respective divisions.
The existing HoIC comprises of:
- Large schools: Tri-Valley, El Paso-Gridley, Eureka, Fieldcrest, Tremont, Deer Creek-Mackinaw
- Small schools: Ridgeview-Lexington, LeRoy, Fisher, Heyworth, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley
The current CIC schools are Clinton, (Macon) Meridian, (Moweaqua) Central A&M, Shelbyville, Tuscola, and Warrensburg-Latham.
CIC fell to six member schools after a conference vote in 2021, which saw two departures effective later this year.
In a December 2021 vote, (Decatur) St. Teresa was kicked from the conference with a 6-1-1 vote, making it an independent conference school. St. Teresa, long known as the conference’s football powerhouse as the lone private school, will now be an independent.
The abstention from the vote, discovered to be from Sullivan, was due to accepting an invitation to join the Lincoln Prairie Conference. Both departures are official as of July 1, 2023.
Clinton and Shelbyville will be moved to the large school division, while Meridian, Central A&M, Tuscola, and Warrensburg-Latham will remain in the small school division.
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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.