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GEORGETOWN — The Vermilion Valley Conference and Sangamon Valley Conference will come together in high school football to form the Vermilion Valley Conference Football Alliance, beginning in the 2021-22 school year.

Georgetown-Ridge Farm athletic director Kevin Thomas on Monday night informed media outlets of the new gridiron alignment, which follows a May announcement of three SVC members joining the VVC on a full-time basis. A press release from Thomas indicates the new football league was created last Thursday.

The league will be divided into North and South divisions. Five games each season will be played among division members, and four more crossover games will occur within a campaign.

The champion of each division automatically will qualify for the IHSA postseason.

The divisions are constructed as follows:

North: Seneca, Momence, Dwight, Clifton Central, Watseka, Iroquois West

South: Hoopeston Area/Armstrong-Potomac, Georgetown-Ridge Farm, Westville, Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin, Salt Fork, Oakwood

Watseka and Iroquois West are two of the three SVC schools linking with the VVC on a full-time basis beginning next school year. The third is Cissna Park, which forms an Illinois 8-Man Football Association cooperative with VVC member Milford.

Momence, Dwight and Clifton Central currently are SVC members with Watseka, Iroquois West and Cissna Park. Seneca is an SVC football-only member. The new league, according to the press release, "will be a football only alliance for Seneca, Momence, Dwight and Clifton Central."

The starting point for this league came when St. Thomas More joined the 8-Man Association last January, causing the Illini Prairie Conference — of which the Sabers still are members in all other sports — to seek another member school of either full-time or part-time status.

SVC member Paxton-Buckley-Loda wound up answering that call and in March was given an invitation to join the IPC on a full-time basis. The Panthers will do so beginning in the 2021-22 school year.