As we all know, the Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the move back to Tier 3 in late November. The mitigations were put in place on Nov. 20, 2020 and they specifically address organized group activities, the most obvious being, sports. The district paused all winter sports including bowling, girls and boys basketball, girls gymnastics, competitive cheer and dance and boys swimming and diving. All school run clubs have stopped meeting in-person as well. The pause will remain in effect until cases return to a lower number in Illinois. Clubs such as DECA and FCCLA have been continuing to meet in a virtual setting.
Many of the teams had been preparing for a possible season before the move by using their contact days.
“We were very optimistic about this season,” said the head girls gymnastics coach, Michael Costa.
Gymnastics is considered a low risk sport by IHSA, but the meets wouldn’t be the same. There would be a limited number of schools competing in invites, strict guidelines of social distancing and potentially the requirement to wear masks while competing. Unfortunately, the team didn’t know much else regarding how the season could play out before the pause occured.
What they did know was that it probably would be one of the most successful seasons they have had in a long time. Despite the loss of one of their top performers, Nicole Kane, they have a lot of depth in their program this year. In pre-season discussions with the coaching staff they concluded that they are confident in their group of girls and could be in contention to win their division and even move on to State. They have a very talented group that worked hard last year—not to disregard their incoming freshmen class.
The team is still hoping for a chance to show their talent even if it’s in a different light this year.
“The pause is disappointing because I was looking forward to competing one last season,” said senior Amanda Marcucci. “I was working on new skills and now I may not get to compete with them.”
It is especially hard for senior athletes to experience this pause because they don’t have a clear answer whether they will get to compete one last time for many of them who aren’t continuing in college, however they understand the circumstances.
“The possibility of [the boys basketball season] being taken away does stink, but it’s not being taken away for no reason,” said senior Aidan Hosler.
The boys basketball team has been keeping in touch virtually while individually working to stay in shape. Some of them go to local parks to shoot and play whenever they get the opportunity.
The IHSA has communicated that they will revisit the decision of this pause in athletics and clubs in late December.