NIC-10 all-sports standings includes a new team at No. 2 for first time

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Amanda Williams, shown throwing out a runner on April 22, 2022 at Belvidere, helped Hononegah win the NIC-10 softball title this year. Hononegah also won the NIC-10 all-sports trophy for the 12th year in a row.
Amanda Williams, shown throwing out a runner on April 22, 2022 at Belvidere, helped Hononegah win the NIC-10 softball title this year. Hononegah also won the NIC-10 all-sports trophy for the 12th year in a row.

The top of the mountain has not changed in the NIC-10, but for the first time in two decades who you have to pass before you reach the summit is new.

Hononegah will keep the traveling NIC-10 all-sports trophy for the 12th year in a row, but Belvidere North moved up to second for the first time in school history.

This is the 19th time Hononegah has won the award, presented by the Rockford Register Star for the last 52 years, including the 18th time in the last 24 years. Hononegah accumulated 189 ½ points in 24 sports, winning eight league titles and finishing second in eight other sports.

“It’s not something that is discussed a whole lot, but it’s a great achievement,” said Brian Zimmerman, who coached Hononegah to its third conference football title in five years. “It’s a testament to our athletes and how hard they work.

“You come up here on a morning like today, and cross country and track are out doing some summer stuff, we are up here for football doing some summer stuff, girls basketball, boys basketball, they are in the gyms working. Part of our success comes from all the hard work and dedication that our players put into it.”

More: NIC-10 MVPs, coaches of the year, standings, all-conference teams for every spring sport

Belvidere North finished with 147 points in a system where teams earn 10 points for finishing first in a sport down to one for last place, winning titles in boys cross country, boys track and girls volleyball. The Blue Thunder also had their best year ever in baseball, finishing second at 15-3.

Guilford finished third with 136.5 points. Guilford won titles in girls track and girls tennis, took second in boys cross country, boys soccer, girls volleyball and girls swimming and had its best-ever finish in girls basketball, taking third.

Boylan dropped to fourth, narrowly behind Guilford with 135 points. The Titans had finished either first or second with Hononegah for 22 years in a row before Harlem passed the Titans for second last year and North and Guilford moved up this year, when Harlem dropped to fifth.

“That’s cool,” said Amanda Carlson Hicks, who has coached Belvidere North to 79 consecutive NIC-10 girls volleyball wins and a state runner-up finish in Class 3A last fall. “I didn’t know that it was a Boylan-Hononegah race for the last 20 years.

“I know the last year for North was really, really good. The track and baseball teams did great. Softball did great. Cheerleading and dance are leading the charge. More and more sports at North are entering the upper echelon of the conference and it’s fun.”

“North,” Hononegah’s Zimmerman said, "reminds me a lot of ourselves. They are always well coached and have dedicated athletes who put in the time.”

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Boylan was hurt by falling numbers. It wound up forfeiting its softball season because of a lack of players. Although its official enrollment is 768, athletic director Paul Heitkamp said the school has 650 students, half what it had the last time it reached state in boys basketball 15 years ago, when it had 1,277 students in 2007.

“The IHSA numbers are always a few years behind,” Heitkamp said. “When you are competing with 650 kids, you don’t have the same advantages as you had when you had 1,200. Our softball numbers have dropped. Our bowling numbers are not great. Our numbers have been low in our wrestling program for quite a while.

“But we get kids out. We have hundreds of kids outside right now, Iron Titans (conditioning programs) and in the gym playing basketball. Our boys basketball camp has one of its best turnouts we have had in a long time. It was a tough year, but we still have a lot of participation. I think we’re going to have a very good year coming up, especially in the marquee sports.”

Harlem finished fifth with 125 ½ points, followed by Auburn with 115, Freeport with 102, Belvidere and East with 86 and Jefferson with 57. The gap between first and second (42.5 points) was bigger than the gap between second and sixth (32).

Boylan won league titles in boys and girts golf and boys and girls soccer. Harlem took first in boys and girts bowling and dance. Auburn took first in boys basketball and boys tennis. Freeport won in wrestling.

Matt Trowbridge is a Rockford Register Star sports reporter. Email him at and follow him on Twitter at @MattTrowbridge. Sign up for the Rockford High School newsletter at Matt has covered sports for the Register Star for more than 30 years after previously working for papers in North Dakota, Delaware, Vermont and Iowa City. He grew up on a farm in northwest Minnesota with six brothers and a sister. His four daughters all graduated from Rockford Public Schools.

NIC-10 All-Sports Trophy winners

1970-71 – Guilford

1971-72 – Guilford

1972-73 – Guilford

1973-74 – East

1974-75 – East

1975-76 – Guilford

1976-77 – Harlem

1977-78 – Freeport

1978-79 – Freeport

1979-80 – East and Harlem

1980-81 – Guilford

1981-82 – Guilford

1982-83 – Guilford

1983-84 – Guilford

1984-85 – Guilford

1985-86 – Guilford

1986-87 – East and Guilford

1987-88 – Guilford

1988-89 – Guilford

1989-90 – Guilford

1990-91 – Guilford

1991-92 – Guilford

1992-93 – Guilford

1993-94 – Guilford

1994-95 — Hononegah

1995-96 — Guilford

1996-97 — Guilford

1997-98 — Freeport

1998-99 — Hononegah

1999-00 — Boylan

2000-01 —Boylan

2001-02 — Boylan

2002-03 — Hononegah

2003-04 — Boylan

2004-05 — Hononegah

2005-06 — Hononegah

2006-07 — Boylan

2007-08 — Hononegah

2008-09 — Hononegah

2009-10 — Boylan

2010-11 — Hononegah

2011-12 — Hononegah

2012-13 — Hononegah

2013-14 — Hononegah

2014-15 — Hononegah

1015-16 — Hononegah

2016-17 — Hononegah

2017-18 — Hononegah

2018-19 — Hononegah

2019-20 - Hononegah

2020-21 — Hononegah

2021-22 — Hononegah

Total titles

Guilford: 20

Hononegah: 19

Boylan: 6

East: 4

Freeport: 3

Harlem: 2

This article originally appeared on Rockford Register Star: IHSA sports: Hononegah wins all-sports title; Belvidere North 2nd