Coaches Trying to Keep High School Athletes Thinking Positively

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PEORIA, Ill . (WMBD/WYZZ) — The Illinois High School Association is getting ready to meet with state leaders in education and health on Friday.

But it has given a heads-up to athletic directors on what might happen afterwards.

The IHSA is prepared to delay the start of the 2020-21 prep sports season, possibly until January, according to a story in The Daily Herald.

The Daily Herald reports IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson told the state’s athletic directors that the IHSA could move all sports to next calendar year with competition starting in January.

“We’ve numerous emails form school administrators requesting this model play out,” The Herald quotes Anderson as saying in his weekly email to athletic directors.

The IHSA is set to have “round table discussions” with the Illinois Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health Friday. The IHSA has scheduled a board meeting for July 29, when it could announce plans for sports this school year.

Area coaches are hoping there is a plan to have athletics and not repeat the cancellation of sports, like in the spring. They believe athletics plays a key role in the lives of high school students.

“Not because it’s this idea of getting back to normal,” said Elmwood football coach Todd Hollis. “I just think there’s some social and emotional and mental health that comes from this.”

Currently, high school athletes and coaches have limited practice sessions with restrictions on contact.

“The kids are social. They want to be together, they want the camaraderie,” said Tremont football coach Zach Zehr. “I think just being together, because they have been cooped up so long. They are finally out and about.”

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