DeKalb, Sycamore Set for First National Challenge


DeKalb and Sycamore High Schools will face off again on Friday, January 15, 2019 at the NIU Convocation Center for their annual First National Challenge basketball game(s).

Doors open at 5:00 pm. The girls varsity game will begin at 6:00 pm, and the boys varsity game will be at 8:00 pm.

Tickets are available at DeKalb & Sycamore High Schools and Middle Schools, First National Bank, DeKalb and Sycamore Chambers, Kishwaukee Family YMCA, and at the NIU Convocation Center the night of the game.

Tickets – $6 each.
Parking will be $5 per vehicle.

First National Challenge History

The First National Challenge, formerly Castle Challenge, was created in 2000 by employees of First National Bank who were looking for an opportunity to help raise money for the DeKalb and Sycamore Sports Booster Clubs.

The concept was for First National Bank to offer the lead sponsorship of the event and they would then challenge other local businesses from DeKalb and Sycamore to donate a minimum of $500. This donation would then be used for sponsorship of the local high school football game between the two rival towns. Sponsoring companies and individuals, in turn, would receive a multitude of publicity.

In the inaugural year, 12 sponsors accepted the challenge and $20,000 was raised. All proceeds were split evenly between the two school’s booster clubs. Today, the Challenge has expanded to include other communities, including Yorkville, Sandwich, Plano, Kaneland, Harvard, Marengo, Belvidere and Woodstock. In total, the First National Challenge events have raised just under $2.5 million for local Athletic Booster Clubs. These funds are used to purchase uniforms, equipment, bleachers, scoreboards, etc.

Upcoming Challenges:

  • Woodstock vs Woodstock North: February 15 (at Woodstock High School)

To learn more about the Challenge, click here!

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