Prep Basketball Coaches Await IHSA Schedule Assuming They’ll Play Soon

Local Sports

PEORIA, ILL. (WMBD/WYZZ) — By Wednesday night, there might be some very happy high school basketball coaches in central Illinois.

Or some unhappy ones.

The Illinois High School Association board of directors meets Wednesday to lay out a revamped sports schedule for the remainder of the school year. The season has been on hold since November but with loosened COVID-19 restrictions, the Illinois Department of Public Health has given the green light to play high school basketball in regions that have reach Phase 4 mitigations.

After being on pause for two months, teams are preparing to jump right into action if the schedule says they can play right away.

“We’re going to attack it like this is the start of our season,” Metmaora basketball coach Danny Grieves said. “Be careful what you wish for because now you’ve got to dig in and get after it.”

Schools will be allowed to play opponents in their conference and in their COVID regions only.

“We tell the kids to just be ready,” Deer Creek-Mackinaw coach Mitch Holmgren said. “Take each day, be the best you can be today, and when they say we can jump the ball up against another opponent, we’re going to try and be ready.”

The schedule will likely be paired down to a five-or-six week season.

Will is start in February? In the spring?

Coaches are just glad to be preparing for any kind of season which looked doubtful just a few weeks ago.

“I just want to reward them with a few games. And it doesn’t have to be a 32-game season, it could be 15 games, 16 games with teams in the area,” said rookie coach Daniel Ruffin of Peoria High School. “I think our kids and families will be excited just to have that experience.”

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