Lake Forest Academy Rejoins the ISL


Photo by NHFS network

Darius Duff 22′ Shooting Free Throws, against future ISL opponent North Shore Country Day.

Rohan Miglani, Managing Editor of Sports

Following a decade-long absence, Lake Forest Academy was allowed re-entry into the Independent School League (ISL), starting next school year (2021-22). This will allow LFA  to compete for league championships with the other schools in the league, something LFA has been unable to do for the last 11 years. 

With teams such as North Shore Country Day, Latin School, Northridge Prep and others of similar size to LFA, Darrin Madeley Athletic Director at Lake Forest Academy said the ISL is “where we belong” due to all the schools being small independent schools similar to LFA. 

While Madeley always believed the ISL was where LFA needed to be, following what Madeley described as a “loss of trust”, LFA was asked to leave the league in 2009. Over the next ten years Madeley hoped LFA could regain the trust of the league, and one day be allowed to re-enter . Nine years ago Madeley took the first steps for LFA to have a chance to be readmitted, having a call with all the Athletic Directors of the ISL, where the only thing he asked for was complete honesty to start the process of righting some of the wrongs that got them removed from the league. Madeley described this meeting as “a Yankee fan walking into Fenway”; however, he knew this was the only way LFA could move forward and be given the slightest chance to be allowed back in. Madeley gives a lot of credit to the students and coaches giving LFA the chance to regain trust. He especially highlighted Chris Dozois and Ed Shaunessy as Madeley believed the work they did running the cross country meets was “extremely beneficial” for LFA. After almost ten years of LFA attempting to learn and change from past mistakes, Madeley submitted a formal request to rejoin the league almost two years ago, Madeley was informed one month ago that the heads of schools and the athletic directors at the ISL schools had unanimously voted to reinstate LFA in the league.

Going into this Spring Season, although LFA will not be allowed to compete in the ISL until next year, most teams will play schedules containing ISL teams such as North Shore Country Day who both Boys Varsity Soccer and Girls Varsity Field Hockey opened their season against. 

Madeley is very excited about the opportunity for students to get to compete for championships, as he believes it will provide more motivation, and give the students a goal to work for on the year. Madeley is not the only one excited about getting the chance to compete for championships as Stefan Momcilovic 22’ said “It is extremely exciting to see all the work we put in during a season, give us the chance to win a championship”.

While Madeley is excited to get the opportunity to re-enter the league, he understands that going forward, the school needs to be very transparent about the way they operate athletically in order to stay in the ISL going forward.