Student-athletes at Chicago Public Schools are hoping for a last-minute reprieve as the Chicago teachers’ strike threatens to keep them from competing in the IHSA state tournament, but as competition looms on Tuesday, the ongoing labor strife will likely keep them off the field.
Alejandro Sanchez, a soccer player at Solorio Academy High School, is one of those athletes. He is a senior at the school, and the teachers’ strike has halted his team’s chances to play for a state title.
“I was looking forward to this,” he said. ‘It’s actually pretty sad because I didn’t expect my season (to end this way).”
Sanchez was looking for redemption after missing a penalty kick that could have helped his team in their quest to win a city title, but the teachers strike will likely keep his team from competing in the IHSA state soccer tournament, which kicks off Tuesday.
“Going back to the state tournament was a good way to make it up to my team for messing up in that (city) final,” he said.
Regionals for other sports will also begin later this week, but the teachers’ strike is keeping all CPS athletes from competing.
At least three schools, including Solorio, have petitioned the Illinois High School Association, asking them to utilize their strike policy so that students who started state competition can play during the strike.
The IHSA did not hear that appeal, issuing a statement saying that the CPS has taken a position not to allow students to compete during the strike.
“Because the CPS have taken a position to not allow students and teams to continue participating when our policy would have allowed them to, the board will not be considering the appeal hearing request unless the CTU strike is settled,” the organization said in a statement.
Joe Trost, the founder of the PepsiCo Showdown soccer tournament, disagrees with the IHSA decision.
“Legal experts believe these students should be back on the field,” he said.