Illinois High School Student-Athletes Push to Play Fall Sports

Student-athletes in neighboring states such as Indiana have gotten the green light to participate in fall sports, but that's not the case in Illinois.

In July, the IHSA announced its plan for the 2020-21 school year, moving some fall sports to the spring and allowing others to continue as planned with restrictions.

The plan was issued following Pritzker's announcement that Illinois would be "restricting youth and adult recreational organized sports," including school-based sports, beginning Aug. 15.

In a recent letter to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson asked for permission for the IHSA and its Sports Medicine Advisory Committee to "resume control over determining the resumption of IHSA sports and activities."

Anderson said Friday the content of the letter "has been greatly misconstrued on social media in a short amount of time."

This past week, students from several west suburban school rallied for open schools and a return to sports.

"We’re willing to do everything we have to do keep it safe and everything, like social distance, wear our masks," said one athlete, Max. "We just want to get back on the field with our teammates."

Tajuana Draper, whose son plays football in Portage, Indiana, said so far, the season has been going well.

"As of right now, there have not been any outbreaks," Draper said. "Everybody that comes in the stadium wears their mask, especially when they’re walking up and down."

The IHSA contends there have no been discussions or timelines for resuming sports at any time in Illinois, however the association says that could changes if Pritzker gives the green light.

A University of a Wisconsin study shows the cancellation of sports is taking a significant toll on the mental health of adolescents.

More rallies are scheduled to take place in the Chicago area in the coming days, including a rally for education and activities at 10 a.m. Sunday morning in suburban McCook.

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