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29

Jul, 2020

IHSA moves High Scholl football to the spring

The Illinois High School Association announced Wednesday that football, girls volleyball and boys soccer will be moved from the fall to the spring season.

“That is a huge relief for me,” Dunbar football player Mekel Fowler said. “I was really worried about the possibility of it being canceled.

The move comes after Governor J.B. Pritzker released a set of restrictions on high school, youth and adult recreational sports earlier Wednesday.

“My initial reaction is that it stinks,” Kenwood football coach Sinque Turner said. “That is going to impact football players that graduate early. If anything I thought they would cut some games and push us back to September. I thought the spring season was just a rumor. It stinks but I understand why things are going the way they are.”

According to the IHSA’s new calendar, several sports will start up on Aug. 10, including golf, girls tennis, cross country and girls swimming.

The high school sports year, which traditionally was divided into three seasons, will consist of four shortened seasons this year. Fall will run from Aug. 10 to Oct. 24. Winter is Nov. 16 to Feb. 13, spring will be Feb. 15 to May 1 and the new summer season will run from May 3 to June 26.

Fall sports include boys and girls golf, girls tennis, boys and girls cross country and girls swimming and diving.

Winter sports are basketball, wrestling, boys swimming, cheerleading, dance, bowling and girls gymnastics.

Football, boys soccer, girls volleyball, badminton, gymnastics and water polo will be in the spring.

Baseball, softball, track and field, girls soccer, boys volleyball, lacrosse and boys tennis will run in the summer.

“The [IHSA board] believes this plan offers the most realistic chance for student-athletes to participate in interscholastic sports while balancing the challenges of a new academic setting and IDPH Guidelines,” Erie High School Principal and IHSA Board President Tim McConnell said. “We are an education-based athletic association, and school has to come first. By delaying the majority of the team sports in the fall, it will allow our schools and students the chance to acclimate to what will be, for many, a totally new educational experience. We will do our best to try to give every student-athlete the opportunity for a season this school year.”

The plan for state tournaments remains slightly up in the air.

Pritzker’s surprise announcement earlier on Wednesday stole the thunder from the IHSA’s afternoon announcement. It softened the blow and lowered any expectations that football would happen as scheduled.

“These are incredibly important moments in the lives of our children,” Pritzker said. “When the multi-billion-dollar sports leagues with multi-million-dollar athletes are struggling to protect their players it is obvious there won’t be enough protection for kids on our school’s playing fields.

“The NBA has resorted to containing its players in a bubble to press on with its season. MLB is facing down a major outbreak. This virus is unrelenting and it spreads so easy that no amount of restrictions seems to keep it off the playing field.”

Pritzker released a set of guidelines for youth and high school sports on the state’s coronavirus website.

“It’s very painful, frankly, for all of us to make this realization,” Pritzker said. “With rising rates of spread and rising positivity rates throughout Illinois and the United States this is a situation where the toughest choice is also the safest choice.”

Pritzker’s guidelines divide sports into three risk levels: lower, medium and higher. The sports in each risk level are allowed different amounts of play based on current public health conditions.

According to the state’s current conditions the lower risk sports (tennis, baseball, golf) will be allowed to have local games. Medium level sports (basketball) can have no-contact practices.

Thirty-eight states are planning to play high school football in in the fall, including all five states that border Illinois. Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, North Carolina and Oregon haven’t made a decision yet. California, Washington D.C, Virginia, New Mexico, Nevada and Washington have moved football to the spring.

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Canton JFL

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Canton, Illinois 61520

Phone: 309-647-1345
Email: [email protected]

Canton JFL

Hulit Park, 590 N. 20th Ave.
Canton, Illinois 61520

Phone: 309-647-1345
Email: [email protected]
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