Edwards County to Join Black Diamond Conference in 2016-2017

Apr 16th, 2014

The Black Diamond Conference has approved Edwards County’s request for admission.  The new affiliation will become effective for the 2016-2017 school year. 

If the Little Illini Conference allowed Edwards County to leave a year early, the Lions would join the Diamond in 2015-2016.  But contractually, EC is obligated to stay in the LIC for two more years.    

Edwards County will join the “East” division of the BDC.  Under the new alignment, the East Division will include: Carmi-White County, Fairfield, Edwards County, Eldorado, Hamilton County, and Johnston City.

Vienna joins the “West” division with Chester, Christopher, Goreville, Sesser-Valier, Trico, and Ziegler-Royalton.

Elverado is leaving the Black Diamond Conference.  In January, they formalized a co-op with Du Quoin High School for football.  That action left the Black Diamond in search of another football opponent.   

Edwards County was interested in moving to the BDC based on similar enrollment and distance to “East” division schools. 

The Lions have been facing larger opponents to the north, including East Richland (Olney), Robinson, and Newton.  Paris is another proposed addition to the LIC.  Meanwhile, three smaller schools are leaving-Oblong, Cumberland, and Palestine-Hutsonville.

Administrators felt the shift to larger schools left Edwards County at a competitive disadvantage.  ECHS will still be one of the smaller schools in the BDC.  However, the enrollments are more comparable. 

The relative close distance of “East” division schools was another motivating factor.