GLASFORD, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Addie Welsh and Emma Hicks know their basketball practices last week were the last time they’ll be together for while.
It’s been that kind of year for the Illini Bluffs High School seniors in 2020. They’ve helplessly watched their favorite sports get cancelled, postponed and put on hold.
“I felt so bad for the seniors last year,” Welsh said. “Now it’s my turn and it might happen to me. It is super scary.”
The Illinois High School Association has placed its winter sports schedule on hold while hoping to wait out the current COVID surge around the state. High school teams aren’t practicing or holding in-person activities until at least Dec. 2.
Welsh and Hicks would have been softball teams in the spring but that season was canceled at the start of the pandemic. They would have been teammates this fall in volleyball but the IHSA moved that season to the spring.
The last time the two played in the same game was a sectional basketball title game Feb. 20, a loss to eventual state runner-up Lewistown.
“I love all these sports so I want to play as long as I can,” Hicks said. “If I’ve already played my last volleyball or basketball game without knowing it, it would be very disappointing.”
Welsh and Hicks have a history. They’ve been teammates in volleyball, basketball and softball since grade school.
This was supposed to be the year they took lead roles at Illini Bluffs in three sports.
“We were looking forward to our last year together,” Hicks said. “We’re excited to be the leaders. It was out turn to be the seniors. It’s disappointing not getting to play and I really want to play with her one last time.”
Both are likely headed to college on softball scholarships. Welsh signed her National Letter of Intent with Bradley this month while Hicks is still weighing options on where she’ll play.
“We were excited for senior year, our chance to teach the younger kids about everything,” Welsh said. “We were looking forward to that opportunity and we hope to still get that chance.”
So far this school year, they’ve had four basketball practice together. No volleyball or basketball games yet.
“Even though Addie and Emma have been asked to contribute in every sport they’ve been a part of since they were freshman, really this is their big standout moment,” said Illini Bluffs basketball coach Jim Belville. “To not be able to follow through with that, you’re heart is broken for them, for sure.”