IHSA sets new schedule for remaining seasons

Low-risk+winter+sports+include+girls%27+badminton%2C+boys%27+swim+and+dive%2C+dance%2C+cheerleading%2C+girls%27+bowling%2C+and+girls%27+gymnastic.+High+risk+winter+sports+include+boys%27+and+girls%27+basketball.+

Leland Pan

Low-risk winter sports include girls’ badminton, boys’ swim and dive, dance, cheerleading, girls’ bowling, and girls’ gymnastic. High risk winter sports include boys’ and girls’ basketball.

Tyler Perry, Sports Editor

Student athletes and fans have been longing for a high school sports update for a few months now. The winter season was put on hold as COVID-19 cases increased in Illinois. The Illinois High School Association did not release much information that would give students and parents a better understanding of when sports would resume, but that all changed when the Illinois High School Association held a meeting last Wednesday. After the meeting, IHSA announced that sports would resume. 

The sports that left to be played would combine into a single season. Practice for many of the lower risk sports will start as soon as possible while many of the higher risk sports will start in March or April.

Many of the individual seasons overlap each other due to the lack of time and the increased amount of sports. However, IHSA did show a promising solution and tried to separate the higher risk sports like football and wrestling. The basketball season as soon as they practice at least seven times, football will start playing games on March 19, and lacrosse will resume later down the line in early April.

The high volume of games in such a little amount of time is unique, and according to Athletic Director Matthew Fehrmann, there is hope that the schedule will work.

“This schedule will work,”  Fehrmann said. “This is the best option we have, and I would be afraid to know what option two would look like. Anyone could come up with a schedule that fits their needs and would work best for a region but when you’re dealing with an entire state, my faith is with them as they had to juggle so much.”

IHSA recognized that athletes playing in the spring and summer were saddened to see their seasons cancelled last year and wanted to make sure they were able to play this year. There is room for redemption from last year, but one thing that is missing is the chance at IHSA State. Most sports will either not have a state series at all, or are undetermined right now. Dance and cheerleading are the only sports that have a confirmed state series as of now. Their state series will be held online starting Feb. 27 through March 12.

“[IHSA’s] focus was to assure that they gave spring sports, who were denied activity last year, a proper season,” Fehrmann said. “In regards to state series, they could have potentially made some adjustments to allow a regional or sectional, and for all we know could slide something in there, but their focus was first: get everyone a regular season, which they did, assure spring sports could get back a little of what was lost last year, which they are. It’s not ideal, we have many successful programs who could, in theory, advance in the state series, but for now, we play and take it one step at a time.”