Illinois West Division history is filled with glories captured by our local schools. Let’s dive into them in this Fast Facts, presented by BMO Harris Bank.
High School hockey is back for the Illinois West Division. A member of the Illinois High School Hockey League, the Illinois West was originally known as the Metro West until the 2012-2013 season. While some teams have left and new teams have joined over the 35+ year history of the division, Neuqua Valley, Naperville Central, Naperville North and Waubonsie have been mainstays since the 2001-02 seasons
And everyone one of those teams has had their time to shine as champions of either the regular season or the post-season tournament.
Naperville North was the Metro West regular season champion in the 2002 season. That was the last regular season championship for the Huskies although they were the runners up in 2003 and 2013.
Naperville Central had some powerhouse teams in the Metro West days. The Redhawks were undefeated in division play in 2003 at 22-0 while allowing on 29 goals. Central also won the regular season title in 2005 with a 19-1-1 record and in 2012, the last year of the Metro West.
Despite being the new kids on the block in the early part of the century, Neuqua Valley ran through the Metro West in 2006 with a perfect 20-0 record. The Wildcats also won the regular season crown in 2009. NV’s success continued into the Illinois West division, winning both the regular season and Illinois West Cup championships in both 2015 and 2017.
Waubonsie Valley became a powerhouse program once Metea Valley entered the fold, turning the Warriors into a combined team. The green and gold won the Metro West title in 2011. 2014 was a big year for Waubonsie. The Warriors won the Illinois West regular season by one point over Naperville Central before winning the Illinois West Cup as well. Later that year Waubonsie won its first Blackhawk Cup Championship in the combined division over fellow Illinois West rival Glenbard.
2019 followed a similar pattern for the Warriors. Illinois West Regular season champions, Illinois West Cup Champions. All culminating with a thrilling double overtime win at the United Center over Glenbard to win their second combined Blackhawk Cup Championship of the decade.
We don’t know who will stand atop the Illinois West standings in 2021, but if history is to be believed, four of our local teams will be fighting for the crown right until the end.
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