Flora accepts invitation to join Black Diamond Conference

Darren Kinnard

It did not take the Black Diamond Conference long to find a replacement for Chester, who last month accepted an invitation to join the Cahokia Conference after the upcoming school year.

Meet the Flora Wolves and Wolfgals.

Flora athletic director Bobby McNeely confirmed that at a special meeting Wednesday night, the Flora Community Unit School District board voted unanimously to leave the Little Illini Conference after this school year and accept an invitation from the Diamond, becoming a member in the 2021-22 school year.

With Flora replacing Chester, the Diamond will remain a 10-team, closed conference in football. Flora, which is about a half hour east of Salem, will join Carmi-White County, Edwards County, Eldorado, Fairfield, and Hamilton County in the BDC-East. Johnston City will likely be moved to the BDC-West to take Chester’s spot alongside Christopher, Goreville, Sesser-Valier, Trico, Vienna, and Zeigler-Royalton. With 365 students, Flora will rank near the middle enrollment-wise in football as well as in the East division.

Flora’s move to the Diamond reunites the Wolves with fellow long-time North Egypt Conference members Carmi-White County and Fairfield. Flora and Fairfield were charter members of the NEC, which started in 1929. Carmi-White County joined in 1957, with the three schools competing together until the NEC broke up in 2003.