MAHOMET –– March 30 was the original date where spring sports would be re-evaluated to see if they could return. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t slowed down. Illinois schools will be shut down until April 7. The earliest that spring sports could return is now April 8.
“April 8 is the target date, however, there are state governmental, educational and health bodies that will need to approve this action as we get closer to it,” the IHSA announced. “It is too early to say definitively that IHSA activities will resume on April 8. Coaches will ultimately need to work in conjunction with their local school administration, as some school districts may choose to be more restrictive in their decisions to return teams to practice or games.”
Nyah Biegler and the M-S girls’ soccer team were preparing for what would have been an outstanding 2020 season.
That’s on hold.
“I remember hearing the news at school, and I was so sad,” Biegler said. “I left school, I came home trying to wrap my head around it. It was devastating. I was trying to see how soon the games were started. I just wasn’t sure what was going on. I was a captain as a junior and this team was full of great talent. We were so excited for the season to start. We thought we were going to go so far this year.”
Hunter Hendershot and the M-S boys track and field team had already started their season. Now, everything has ground to a halt.
“It was pretty upsetting,” Hendershot said. “I’ve already got school records which were a big deal to me. But I was going for state records. Hopefully, they don’t cancel the state meet.”
If the spring seasons do get started on April 8, it would be one of the shortest regular seasons in history. For example, M-S baseball would only have 19 scheduled games remaining before regionals.
“If the April 7 deadline appears to be on schedule in the coming days and weeks, we will communicate an appropriate plan on spring sports to our member schools,” the IHSA announced. “It is important to remember this is an unprecedented situation and will remain fluid. It is possible, for example, that schools may re-open at some point, but other gatherings (like sports) may remain limited.”