Morrison on the move, will join NUIC in 2024-25

Mustangs are founding member of TRAC

Morrison football players run through drills Tuesday, July 26, 2022. The team will open the season against Newman on August 26.

The Morrison Mustangs will be riding off to join the Northwest Upstate Illinois Conference in 2024-25.

The Morrison High School board of education made the anticipated move official at its meeting Monday night. Morrison, a charter member in 1975, will be leaving the Three Rivers Athletic Conference after 49 years, to join the NUIC for all sports for the 2024-2025 school year.

Morrison athletic director Gregg Dolan said it was the right time to make the move with the schools in the Three Rivers becoming larger and the distances becoming longer.

“As the TRAC has grown over the past several years so has the enrollment numbers for the schools being added and an increase to the travel time to the new schools. Those two reasons are the primary reasons for the changing of conferences. We will be playing teams closer to our enrollment and hopefully reduce our travel time,” Dolan said.

The NUIC like the TRAC conference has a storied tradition with its sports programs and we are looking forward to the new challenges of competing in a great and competitive conference.”

Dolan said it was not an easy decision, but one that was right for Morrison.

“As one of the founding members of the TRAC, the district took a long look at what would be best for our student athletes in the future and felt this was the right time to change conferences,” he said. “We have enjoyed our time and the relationships we have built over the past several decades with some of the current TRAC members and now looking to build similar relationships with the schools we will be competing against in the NUIC.”

Other members of the NUIC are Amboy, Aquin, Dakota, Forreston, Fulton, Durand-Pecatonica, Galena, Lanark Eastland, Lena-Winslow, Milledgeville, Orangeville, Polo, Stockton, River Ridge and Savanna West Carroll.

Six of the schools - Amboy, Aquin, Milledgeville, Orangeville, Polo and River Ridge - play 8-man football.

The Mustangs’ exit from the Three Rivers follows the recent addition of Aledo Mercer County in 2024-25 and the departure of St. Bede at the end of the current school year.

Morrison becomes the third member of the Three Rivers to move to the NUIC following Amboy (2017) and Fulton (2021) in six years and the fourth to leave with St. for Bede returning to the Tri-County.

As it shapes up now, with no other schools leaving or entering, the Three Rivers will look like this in 2024-25 with divisions to be determined: Aledo Mercer County, Bureau Valley, Erie-Prophetstown, Hall, Kewanee, Mendota, Monmouth-Roseville, Orion, Princeton, Riverdale, Rockridge, Sherrard and Sterling Newman.