PECATONICA, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — It’s been a long time coming, but the DuPec Rivermen are in the IHSA football playoffs. Saturday evening they learned they’ll compete in Class 6A against Chicago Harlan.
A large group of people from Durand and Pecatonica turned out for a playoff pairings ‘watch party’ Saturday evening at the Tortsen Education Center outside of Pecatonica. This is the first playoff appearance for DuPec since the coop was formed in 2017.
Prior to that when each school had its own team in 2016 both Pecatonica and Durand went 0-9. Pecatonica’s last playoff season was in 2009. Durand’s last playoff season was in 2011.
This 6-3 season and now playoff appearance validates that the decision to form a coop was the right choice.
“The communities have really rallied around each other,” said DuPec head coach Tyler Hoffman to Eyewitness News Saturday night. “Certainly the first couple years were kind of a question mark. Is this the right thing to do? And the way that these kids have performed both sides, both Pec and Durand has really I think brought both communities together and realized that this is a great decision not only for the communities but for our kids.”
Chicago Harlan is 6-2. Harlan’s last regular season game was not played due to the Chicago teacher strike. If the teacher strike isn’t resolved this week and the game can’t be played then DuPec will automatically advance to the second round.
The first round game will be played at Pecatonica. The date and time have not be set. It’ll be played either Friday night or Saturday agending pending an end to the Chicago teacher strike.