By Al Zipsie

The Fulton will be joining the NUIC.

Fulton was an original member of the Three Rivers Conference since 1975.
"Fulton high school is very excited to be joining the NUIC for all sports starting in the 2021 school year," said Fulton Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Patrick Henrekin. "We feel like this opportunity is what's best for our student-athletes and look forward to competing in a great conference with a lot of history."
The NUIC extended its invitation and Fulton's school board accepted.
Fulton was one of the smaller schools in the TRAC and now will be one of the largest in the NUIC with an enrollment of 292.
Fulton will join the NUIC for the 2020-2021 school year. The Steamers will join the Conference sooner than some thought.
The Steamers will rekindle playing against Amboy. However, it will be in all sports except for football. Amboy, along with NUIC schools Aquin, Milledgeville, Ashton-Franklin Center and Orangeville will be going to 8 man football starting in the fall of 2021. Polo who won the 8 man state title in 2019 and River Ridge have already made the move. Warren joined the Blackhawk Coop to play in Wisconsin where they won a state championship In 2019. Fulton will also now play West Carroll. Savanna joined Thomson and Mt.
Carroll consolidating into West Carroll. Fulton used to play Savanna in the Three Rivers.
The NUIC in football with the loss of five more teams to 8-man was down to nine teams. With the addition of Fulton, it now makes the NUIC a ten team closed Conference. It allows for a nine-game Conference schedule playing each other once.
This starts in the fall of 2021. The other NUIC 11 man football Conference includes Lena-Winslow, Forreston, West Carroll, Dakota, Eastland-Pearl City Coop, Durand-Pecatonica Coop, Stockton, Galena, and East Dubuque.
Fulton joins the NUIC the best small Conference in the state for football. Fulton won the football state championship in 2A twice. The Steamers were 13-0 under coach Dale Giesler in 1976. They beat Gillespie 8-0 in overtime for the title. In 1991 with coach Jim Proud they won the state championship unbeaten at 14-0. Fulton beat a talented Galena team 26-20 in overtime in the first round. They won the title beating Greenfield 26-8.
Including Fulton's two state championships the NUIC has 23 state titles in football 11 man football. And eight of the last ten years the 1A crown including Lena-Winslow last season. In 2014 the NUIC won both the 1A crown with Forreston and Eastland-Pearl City.
Four of the 23 state championships were won by Aquin, Amboy, and Orangeville who will be playing 8 man football. Lena-Winslow leads with the most with four. Four schools have three titles each in Forreston, Aquin, Galena, and Dakota. Fulton and Stockton are next with two each. With one are Eastland-Pearl City, Amboy, and Orangeville.
Fulton's football team in the TRAC were 5-5 the last two seasons. In 2017 they made the playoffs and finished 7-4. In 2016 in 2A they made the quarterfinals and finished 9-3.
Fulton was also third in the state in baseball in 2015.
The girl's program's best finish was making state in volleyball in 2003. They lost in the quarterfinals and finished with a record of 33-2-1.
The best boys basketball team in school history was 1972-73 under coach Stan Borgman when they finished 21-6 and made the Elite Eight in the second year of A in the two-class system. Fulton in a one-class system in 1958 was 24-4. They beat Bushnell Prairie City 38-37 in the Super-Sectional and lost to Kaneland 42-35 in the quarterfinal.
Fulton in a two-class system in 1958 was 24-4. They lost in the Super-Sectional to Rock Falls. The Steamers in 1936 were 26-3 beating Paris 25-19 in the Super-Sectional and losing to Mt. Pulaski 32-18 at state.
Fulton's best season in wrestling was 20-2 in 1997-98. With Fulton, it will give the NUIC seven teams and allow them to have a Conference tournament. The other schools are Dakota, Lena-Winslow, West Carroll, Ashton-Franklin Center, Durand, and Polo. The NUIC has 14 wrestling. Dakota and Savanna (before the West Carroll consolidation) with six each and Lena-Winslow with two. Dakota had won four straight and won the state championship last season.
Fulton has five individual wrestling state champions. Tyler Fleetwood won it twice at 106 pounds in 2016 and at 120 in 2017. Matt Kuebel won the state at 215 pounds in 1998. Eli Pannoll in 2019 at 220 and Butch Wingett was the school's first state champ at 105 in 1975. Tyler Fleetwood is the school's only four-time state medalist and two-time state champ. Taylor Fleetwood was a three-time state medalist from 2016 to 2018 at 220 and 285.
Fulton, in track, boasts two of the best in the shot put in the area in Steve Brondyke and Chloe Lindeman. Brondyke was the shot put state champion in 1978 and 1979 and also medals in the discus. The other boys Fulton boys individual track state champion was Gary Medendorp in the 400 meters in 1983.
In girls track the Fulton was the state champ in the 800-meter medley relay in 1993. Dakota Knott was a two time champion in the triple jump in 2018 and 2019. Lindeman was the shot put state champion in 2018 and 19. Amy Snyder won the 400 meters in 1993 and was a four-time state medalist in the 400 event.
In boys' golf, the best state finish was Aaron Krueger a runner-up in 1997. Tim Holl was
Third in 1982.
Fulton will be the only NUIC school to compete in bowling. The other boy's sports are football, golf, basketball, wrestling, track and baseball. Girls sports are volleyball, golf, basketball, softball and track.
For websites that will include Fulton go to Facebook NUIC sports which include each school's state hardware. Facebook NUIC track records which include Conferences best and all school records for boys and girls. Also Facebook Rockford Stateline track records.

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