By Chris Johnson


On Monday, Nov. 21, the echoes from the gymnasiums across the state will begin to multiply. Northern Illinois will be no exception and in Freeport it could be exceptionally noisy. Game play returns and the winter sports season waits for the Belvidere Bucs. Action commences with the opening passes in the Boys’ Varsity RPS tip Off Classic in Freeport.

A collection of teams from conferences across north-central and north-eastern Illinois, face-off with matches played through Wednesday, Nov. 23 in the early season shoot-out in Freeport.

On Wednesday, Nov. 30, the battle for the NIC-10 is thrown directly into Belvidere’s path as they prepare to pay a visit to the newly-reloaded and always-dangerous Knights.

Auburn is in discussion as an early season favorite and a possible NIC-10 regular season champion-in-waiting. Hononegah and Harlem, along with Belvidere and Freeport all will get their chance to throw pundits a curve as the season progresses. It can be safe to read statistics and say Auburn and Rockford Boylan are going to be keenly-observed this season.

Belvidere moves away from the Wednesday, Nov. 30 showdown with Auburn and prepares for back-to-back road games at Harlem and Guilford. The Friday, Dec. 9 Harlem match could be important in helping determine which team finishes a step ahead of the other this year.

A brief home visit on Friday, Dec. 16 closes the regular season NIC-10 portion of 2016 for Belvidere. The Bucs will participate in the EC Nichols Tourney on Tuesday, Dec. 27.

A stretch of crucial, division-influencing matches wait for the Bucs as the calendar flips.

On Friday, Jan. 6, Belvidere faces the E-Rabs in Rockford in a boy-girl double-header.

On Thursday, Jan. 12 Rockford Boylan drops in for a brief visit. The following week, Auburn returns the earlier season favor and visits Belvidere to wrap up the brief home stand on Friday, Jan. 20.

The cross-town match with Belvidere North will be played on the road this season for the Bucs as they do battle Wednesday, Jan. 25, and on Friday, Jan. 27, the Hononegah Indians provide the next big challenge for NIC-10 dominance, the Bucs will face.

The final month of the regular season opens for the Bucs on Friday, Feb. 3 as they face conference challenger Harlem for the second time.

When the Wednesday, Feb. 8 match against Jefferson arrives, the Bucs will know there will be less than two weeks to go in the regular season. The playoffs begin the final week of February. A game with Freeport starts the final swing through the NIC-10 on Friday, Feb. 10.

On Friday, Feb. 17 Belvidere will be home to host East High School. The regular season comes to a close on Wednesday, Feb. 22, as Guilford finishes the head-to-head responsibilities with Belvidere before the state tournament begins the following week.

The Belvidere Daily Republican will follow the Belvidere Bucs boys’ basketball team throughout the season.

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