Normally when I'm digging for materials for my sports column, I have a lot of research to complete my story. But, once or twice a year, I will contact Morris Community High School Athletic Director George Dergo and find out what is happening in the real world.
There has been so much talk about colleges changing conferences, it looks like some high school's have caught the fever.
Recent news that Streator and Dixon may drop out of the Northern Illinois Big 12 has started a lot of rumbling about who's in and who's out. Streator more recently said they will stay in the Big 12, but Dixon has made a presentation to the Big Northern Conference in hopes of
joining the 14-team league. Dixon, if accepted, would join the Big Northern's West Division. That a very good conference consisting of Byron, Mendota, Oregon, Rock Falls, Rockford Lutheran, Stillman Valley and Winnebago.
If accepted, Dixon would join the new league for the 2015-16 season.
When discussing the possibilities of league changes in the Northern Illinois Big 12, Dergo had a few things to say.
"if it looks like Dixon might get out, there's some teams up north that may get in. If that's the case, then we're a north-south conference," he said. "If that's the case, it could be Morris, Yorkvillle, Geneseo, Ottawa, La Salle-Peru, and Streator. Nothing is set in stone, we'll see what happens in the future.
"The way finances are, time and the studies that the kids have, because it's really becoming an academic issue. Traveling is a big issue, also. Football is not the problem. We can play any place on a Friday night. But when you're talking about volleyball games on Tuesday night and basketball on Tuesday and possibly Friday and Saturday nights, it makes it difficult for everyone involved, with the traveling distances to some schools.”
Then the topic got around to the football schedule for the coming year. Morris will open up on the road at Minooka on August 24, and Oak Lawn Richards will come to Morris on Aug. 31. Richards had a very young team last year and ended up 6-4, losing to Morris in game two in 2011. If you remember, Richards had a much talked about sophomore quarterback, Tommy Mister, who has some early offers from several major colleges.
The rest of the Morris schedule for the 2012 season includes:
Sept. 7 — Geneseo (home)
Sept. 14 — Dixon (away)
Sept. 21 —Yorkville (home)
Sept. 28 — Sycamore (away)
Oct. 5 — DeKalb (home)
Oct. 12 — Rochelle (away)
Oct. 19 — Kaneland (away)
All games are on Friday evening.
Head coach Alan Thorson joined our conversation and said the kids were working hard on the weights and conditioning. Alan said there was a good three-player battle for the quarterback position which includes Zach Cinnamon, a transfer from Streator, along with Matt Darlington (who was last year’s sophomore quarterback, and Danny Friend.
Friend was a tight end last year and is being highly recruited at that position from several big schools. But right now he is in the mix at quarterback. Danny was a quarterback in his early years at the school.
Thorson said Friend will play anywhere he is needed on the team. Alan said he was a very team-oriented player. At 6-5 and 250-pounds, Friend makes a very big target at tight end for Morris.
When discussing the teams strong points for the year, Thorson said, “I think our defense will be our strong point this year. We are returning so many players on defense, so that should be a strength. Our offense is coming around, but we lost Austin Feeney, a two-year starter at quarterback. Jeff Perry is a load at running back. He just gave a verbal agreement to Central Michigan for future football.”
Reese Sobol and Collin Grogan will provide strong running game for Morris. Anthony Monson and possibly Friend at receivers will be nice targets for the quarterback.
Morris was 9-2 last year, and coach Thorson is excited about the new year.