BETHANY, Ill. (WAND) -- It's called the "Lincoln Prairie Conference" and the league's 15 members require no introduction to each other.
The new Central Illinois-based high school athletic conference was finalized on Tuesday when Commissioner Matt Shoaff, the principal at Okaw Valley High School, announced that the group of 15 would formally band together once again after leaving the Little Okaw Valley Conference.
The former LOVC two-division system will be scrapped in favor of one unified league. But the primary reason for the movement was a polite way of distancing themselves from football-challenged schools Martinsville, Oblong, Palestine and Hutsonville without kicking them out. In addition to adding to longer-than-desired travel times, the group of four was frequently forced to forfeit late-season games because of a lack of roster depth.