June 13, 2021

CCL/ESCC realigns its divisions for fall season

Joliet Catholic and Providence moved to the Orange Division

When the 24 teams of the Chicago Catholic League and East Suburban Catholic Conference joined forces to form the CCL/ESCC partnership, the original plan was that the teams would stay in six four-team divisions for two seasons and then the league would reassess and decide whether or not adjustments needed to be made.

Two years have passed, and currently the league’s membership sits at 23 teams with the closure of Westchester St. Joseph at the conclusion of this school year. And, as expected, there has been some reshuffling of the league’s makeup.

The premier division of the CCL/ESCC, the Blue Division, saw no changes with Brother Rice, Loyola, Marist and Mount Carmel remaining in the league’s showcase division.

All of the other divisions, however, have some sort of change.

The conference will play league games, either in-division or crossover games, in Weeks 3 through 9 in the regular season. Teams aren’t restricted from playing other CCL/ESCC opponents in Week 1 and Week 2. In fact, St. Rita and Mt. Carmel have already announced the intention to play in Week 1. But teams can seek opponents for nonconference games outside the CCL/ESCC if they choose to.

For example, Blue Division teams will play three in-division contests and one crossover game against one opponent from the Green, Orange, Purple and White Divisions.

The Green Division has been restructured to include returners St. Rita and Notre Dame, while newcomers Nazareth and Benet were moved from the Purple Division to round out the foursome, replacing Montini and Providence, which were both moved to the Orange.

The Orange Division has only one team remaining from its previous alignment, St. Laurence. The Vikings will be joined by the aforementioned previous Green schools in Montini and Providence, while Joliet Catholic was shifted from the White Division to make the Orange foursome.

This will create a conference matchup between Joliet Catholic and Providence in Week 4. This season the matchup will be hosted by the Hilltoppers and in the 2022 season Providence will host. The two schools haven’t played since 2015 where Joliet Catholic beat Providence 35-13.

The White Division retained Fenwick, Marmion and St. Ignatius while adding De La Salle, which was previously in the Orange Division.

The Purple Division contains returners Carmel, St. Patrick and St. Viator while Marian Catholic was added to the loop from the Red Division.

Just three teams reside in the Red Division due to the closure of St. Joseph, DePaul Prep and Leo return to the Red while Marian Central joins the group after previously being a part of the Purple Division.

St. Joseph’s closure not only leaves an open date in the schedules of each of the teams that play in the Red Division, but also for four teams that were slated to have crossover matchups with St. Joe. Marian Catholic (Week 3), De La Salle (Week 8), Joliet Catholic (Week 5) and Benet (Week 7) now have vacancies in their schedules to fill other than the first two weeks of the season. Open dates over the later weeks in the season are typically more difficult to fill with in-state opponents.

Joliet Catholic ScheduleProvidence Schedule
Week 1TBDWillowbrook
Week 2TBD@ Wheaton North
Week 3De La SalleFenwick
Week 4Providence@ Joliet Catholic
Week 5TBDMarian Central Catholic
Week 6St. LaurenceMontini
Week 7@ Brother Rice@ Loyola
Week 8@ Benet@ Rita
Week 9@ Montini@ St. Laurence

Steve Soucie

Steve Soucie has been the Sports Editor at the Joliet Herald News since August of 2018. Prior to that, Soucie worked at the Kankakee Daily Journal and for Pro Football Weekly.