By Kyle Daubs
We are just days away from knowing the truth.
Coaches, athletes, and spectators in the state of Illinois have just two days left of waiting to know more about their upcoming fall seasons. The Illinois High School Association pushed its meeting to determine guidelines for fall sports back a week to Wednesday.
The Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education took part in a discussion last Friday, said Executive Director Craig Anderson stated in an emailed statement.
For now, all anyone can do is what they have been doing for the last four months.
“I’m anxious to know what they will decide and just eager to play,” said Charleston senior volleyball player Hannah Buescher. “I’m okay with waiting to play later in the year if it can be more “normal,” but I just want to play no matter what.”
Buescher is certainly not the only one who is apprehensive.
“I’m really just anxious because this has been a question I’ve wanted answered for too long,” said Mattoon cross country runner Brock Davee. “The sooner we find out the better because if we don’t have an IHSA season, I will have to resort to other ideas like out-of-state running. And I will need time to get the things I need done for that.”
Rumors have circulated for months that all sports would be crammed into one school semester starting January 2021. Winter sports would run from January to February, according to one possible proposal, fall sports would take place from March to April and spring sports from May into the summer.
But nobody knows if this is merely conjecture or wishful thinking.
“I am just ready to know,” said Mattoon volleyball co-coach Lori Morton. “We are all getting tired of waiting. I am mentally and emotionally prepared for no volleyball this fall, but I am really hoping that we can have a season even if it’s later in the year. My heart goes out to the seniors because they deserve to enjoy their last year of volleyball together.”
While some are hopeful for the future, some are still worried that it could be called off completely. The IESA recently cancelled all fall sports, which puts pressure on the IHSA to follow suit.
“I am anxious to see what they say, but I am also not looking forward to it because I don’t want them to cancel fall sports,” said Mattoon cross country runner Kylie Haacke. “As an incoming senior, it would be really disappointing to not have your final high school cross country season. I know it’s not an easy decision for the school board members, but they will do what they see is best to do.”