Even though high school football won’t be played during the fall like usual, Prairie Central head football coach Andrew Quain is just glad to have the opportunity to compete later in the school year.
“I’m really happy to be honest with you,” Quain told Fairbury News late Wednesday afternoon. “They’ve put some dates out there and have given us something to aim for.”
The IHSA has announced a plan for the upcoming school year which moves sports like football and volleyball to the spring.
Quain said he planned to meet with his players Wednesday evening to discuss the matter. The team had previously talked about different possibilities.
“I’m really excited for Prairie Central football today.”
IHSA fall sports remaining include: boys and girls golf, girls tennis, cross country and girls swimming and diving. These sports can proceed to start Aug. 10 as scheduled. Winter sports still include boys and girls basketball, cheerleading, dance, bowling, girls gymnastics and wrestling.
Sports to take place on the summer season next year include baseball, softball and track. The fall season will run Aug. 10-Oct. 24, winter from Nov. 16-Feb. 13, spring Feb. 15-May 1 and summer May 3-June 26.
“This plan, like nearly every aspect of our current lives, remains fluid,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “Changes may come, and if they do, we will be agile while putting safety and students first.”
The current Phase 4 Return to Play guidelines have been extended which allow sports slated to be played in the winter, spring and summer seasons to have an additional 20 days of contact between Sept. 7 and Oct. 31.
Per Governor J.B. Pritzker’s announcement Wednesday, fall sports will begin with competition limited to conference opponents and other schools in the same general geographical area. Schools will receive more details in the coming weeks on scheduling limits and scheduling will continue to be assessed throughout each season.
No action was taken on activities such as bass fishing, chess, drama, music and scholastic bowl. Organization by-laws do not prevent schools who are conducting remote learning from participating in IHSA sports and activities. Participation will remain a local school and district decision, regardless of what learning plan a high school is utilizing.
The IHSA plan approved Wednesday has been sent to the Illinois Department of Public Health for final approval.