PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — The 2020-2021 high school sports season is officially over in Illinois, with Saturday being the conclusion of the craziest year in the history of the IHSA.
Now it’s tmie to reflect on the year that was, and say congratulations and thank you to all that perservered.
Starting in the fall of 2020, traditional low contact sports such as golf, tennis, cross country and swimming and diving took center stage. Competitions were limited within your region and competitors were required to wear masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Higher contact sports such as football and volleyball remained on the sidelines due to COVID mitigations. As winter sports approached, many doubted high contact sports would get a chance to play at all this year. But at the end of January 2021, the IHSA stepped up to the plate and made a decision to get sports back in action.
The IHSA installed a plan to play the winter, spring and summer sports within a four month span between February and June. Ambitious. But their main goal was to give athletes a chance to play.
With student-athlete health and safety at the forefront, all sports returned to action in the last four months, beginning with a winter season, which included basketball and swimming, that ended in March. Football, soccer and volleyball got six week seasons that ended in April. And spring sports got a full season, a point the IHSA made imperative, since those student athletes missed all of their 2020 seasons.
With the return of spring sports, the IHSA also brough back the state series, which wrapped up this last week. Student-Athletes getting a chance to achieve goals and dreams of playing for a state championship. Communities coming together. Smiles restored. Normalcy on its way back.
All in all, this Illinois high school sports season will go down as choatic, always changing, but important. High school athletes, coaches, athletic directors, officials and administrators did everything within their power to bring sports back to the state. And they did so with flying colors. And we thank you for your hard work as prep sports return for good to Illinois