EAST. ST. LOUIS – It’s apparent there will not be any Friday Night Lights football games this fall in Illinois following a bombshell announcement today by the High School Association.
“Everything we had prepared for the fall season is now going to have to be scrapped and we’ll have to do it all over again for a time period that nobody is used to,” said Bill Schmidt.
Schmidt covers the Southwest Conference as the presiding commissioner.
As soon as the association tweeted, his phone got to ringing.
“When we finally got the basic blueprint of what the IHA has decided, I think everybody was willing to take a chance, roll up their sleeves and go to work,” said Schmidt.
The big noticeable change is football, boys’ soccer and girls’ volleyball being considered a medium risk and moving from the fall to spring.
That move scraps what would have been several high-profile football games featuring teams on both sides of the Metro.
East St. Louis was supposed to face De Smet and CBC.
Meanwhile, CBC was supposed to face Edwardsville and Belleville West.
The moves announced today have left several coaches and athletic directors going back to their playbooks.
“Every AD in the State of Illinois wants their kids to be able to play, but there are higher powers and sometimes we have to respect what comes down from those higher powers,” Said Alex Fox, Athletic Director.
In Missouri, in-school learning in some form is a requirement to play while in Illinois it is not.
It is changes like that coaches and athletic directors are discussing as everyone tries to figure out the proper way to move forward and get back on the field.
“I’m going to do what’s best for kids,” said Fox. “With that being said if they have to be on delay or a pause, that’s just what it’s going to have to be.”
The move to the spring here in Illinois presents current student-athletes with a problem when it comes to their future.
Those players and their families must decide if they want to a senior season or get ready for college.
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