Fenwick, the winningest girls basketball team in East Suburban Catholic Conference history, will play one more season in the conference before jumping to the GCAC.
The Friars will join ESCC members Providence and Bishop McNamara in the GCAC. All three compete in the ESCC only in girls sports and are members of the Chicago Catholic League for boys sports. In addition, with the disbanding of the Suburban Christian Conference, Montini, St. Francis and Rosary will also join the GCAC in 2015-16.
All three will be independents during next school year.
“We have been in conversation with Bishop McNamara, Fenwick and Providence quite a number of times,” St. Ignatius athletic director Jim Prunty told the SouthtownStar. “We had a meeting in March with all six of those schools and laid out how we thought the future of the league could look. The three East Suburban Catholic schools wanted time to think about it, and when they researched with their coaches they came back and made the decision.”
Fenwick athletic director Scott Theis said it was a difficult choice.
“The East Suburban Catholic Conference is a great conference with schools having a tradition in the classroom and athletics,” he said. “This was not an easy or close decision by any means.”
Fenwick won or tied 16 consecutive ESCC basketball championships from its inaugural year in 1995 to 2010. The Friars also won seven consecutive ESCC softball titles from 1995-2001 and a girls soccer crown in 2011.
Dave Power, the only coach in Fenwick girls basketball history, is a member of the Hall of Fames for both the ESCC and GCAC. He guided former GCAC-member Immaculate Heart of Mary to its only Class AA state championship in 1987.
He has won state titles at Fenwick in 2001 and 2007. Power is the only girls basketball coach in state history to win a state title for more than one school.
“It’s going to be a change of scenery,” Power said. “The East Suburban has been wonderful. I have enjoyed my friendships and relationships.”Fenwick