By Chris Johnson


North Boone was looking forward to the start of the 2016-2017 winter sports season and waited until night two of the annual Pecatonica Thanksgiving Turkey Tourney before they made their appearance.

With the opening night filled with contests between Belvidere and Warren as well as Pecatonica and South Beloit, there was no room on the floor for North Boone to tip-off on Monday, Nov. 21.

On Tuesday, Nov. 22, the situation fixed itself as the Vikings faced Warren out of the NUIC. Their action preceded the nightcap in Pecatonica between Belvidere and South Beloit.

An early season advantage was revealed to North Boone during the annual Turkey Tourney. North Boone got the chance to face two teams they wouldn’t normally see during the regular season. The Belvidere squad plays in the NIC-10 while the South Beloit Sobos hail from the Northeast Athletic Conference. Warren is an NUIC product.

On Thursday, Nov. 24 all the participants in this year’s Thanksgiving Tournament celebrated the holiday by putting the games on hold. Action was suspended on Friday, Nov. 25 as well.

On Monday, Nov. 28, the Vikings were back on the floor in a match against one of their closest neighbors to the west, South Beloit. Pecatonica and Belvidere followed the North Boone match.

The champion of the annual Pecatonica Classic will be crowned on Tuesday, Nov. 29. Many feel the North Boone Vikings could be one of the teams that have a chance to claim the title as their own.

Since the Big Northern Conference joined and eliminated the former West and East qualifying status, eleven teams have had to learn to fight amongst themselves as they attempt to track down a conference title.

On Tuesday Dec. 6, North Boone takes on their next nearest neighbor, Harvard, in a Kishwaukee Valley-Big Northern crossover clash.

Bryon and Johnsburg wait with home games in anticipation for the Friday, Dec. 9 and Tuesday, Dec. 13 engagements.

On Saturday, Dec. 17 North Boone gets to head home for a quick stop for a match against the Dixon Dukes.

Tournament play at Marengo winds through the Christmas Holiday before the season enters the 2017 portion of the schedule.

Clinton and North Boone face off in the Milk Can Game on Saturday, Jan. 7. Big Northern play resumes against the always state-minded Winnebago Indians on Tuesday, Jan. 10.

The next road swing for North Boone running from Richmond-Burton on Wednesday, Jan. 18 travels to Rockford Christian on Saturday, Jan. 21 before a sharp turn south towards Mendota is taken on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

The match at Rockford Christian on Saturday, Feb. 4 closes the late-season swing through the Big Northern and sends North Boone home for a much needed wind down and a favorable home-standing schedule starting with Oregon on Tuesday, Feb. 7.

The Vikings will have to deal with Rockford Lutheran on the road on Friday, Feb. 10 but will reap the rewards from being given the gift to close the year at home against would-be conference challengers Christian Life beginning Monday, Feb. 13.

A date with the Stillman Valley Cardinals follows before North Boone closes the winter sports regular season with a game at home against Genoa-Kingston.

A late hot streak could end up helping the Vikings stay in the hunt for better than middle standing in the eleven-team Big Northern Conference.

Many feel Winnebago, Dixon, along with other old Big Northern West combatants have the best chances to thrive in this year’s newly-aligned Big Northern Conference. North Boone will make the decision for themselves soon as to how ready they are for the season.


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