Fans and student athletes direct unwanted consequences to Prizker following his announcement


Emily Shiff

Governor J.B. Pritzker is staying firm on Illinois putting a hold on winter sports.

Tyler Perry, Sports Editor

Governor J.B. Pritzker announced that basketball will be pushed back to a later date last Tuesday. He had put a similar announcement in September for all fall sports and received major backlash by the communities in Chicago and Springfield. Currently, the biggest opposition to his decision is the IHSA Board. The board, ran by executive Craig Anderson, is fighting to bring basketball back to the winter after last week’s announcement by the governor. 

It is uncertain whether Metea will see basketball anytime soon, but lower risk sports may start soon. Those six other sports have yet to be deemed high risk by the Illinois Department of Public Health and will more than likely start practice on Nov. 16.

Basketball at the moment is still to be determined,” Athletic Director Matthew Fehrmann said. “The IHSA is monitoring the governor’s recent stand on moving [basketball] to the spring season. We will be running our low-risk sports: girls’ bowling, cheerleading, dance, gymnastics, and boys’ swim and diving.“

There is one lingering question. If basketball is moved to spring, what sport will the athletes choose to be a part of? A few athletes are involved with both basketball and football and picking which one to follow will be very tough. Another problem is scheduling. Adding another sport to an already packed season will take a little bit of time.

“If basketball is moved to the spring, we will make it happen and do so in a manner to not impact everything else that is occurring,” Fehrmann said. “The impact the move will have on sports is our space scheduling, teams will need to be flexible, and two-sport athletes, to name a few. Families could be put in a situation to choose which sport. That challenge will not be an easy one to make but something we handle with class.”

The winter season will have similar rules and regulations to the fall season. The rules will drastically change the sports schedule compared to last year. Another big change is that there will be fewer spectators.. 

“No spectators, 50 people maximum to a space, masks will be worn, contact tracing procedures will be in place, adjustments to schedules, playing schools in our COVID-19 Region, spacing out preliminary games,” Fehrmann said. “Dance and cheer cannot do partner stunts or come within six feet of other teammates. Bowling will follow procedures specific to them in regards to lane usage. Swim and dive will not have relays.”

Student-athletes will notice some similarities to the team dynamic from last year? Athletes can expect the coaches doing their best to make sure their teams can go out and play their hearts out.

“They can expect the same attention from their coaches and same focus to compete at a high level,” Fehrmann said. “Daily procedures will look different, bringing in a daily self-certification slip, wearing masks, traffic flow patterns, and no contact, to name a few.”

Visit the IHSA webpage for more COVID-19 updates here.