The IHSA’s Decision on High School Sports Sparks Swift Backlash Throughout the LFHS Community


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Illinois Governor JB Pritzger addresses his resrictions on the IHSA.

Jackson Lawrence, Staff Writer

As the COVID-19 pandemic lingers throughout the Midwest and the United States, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) has made decisions in July about the 2020-2021 season that has received swift backlash from all. 

Their decision was based on a low, medium, and high-risk factor by sport. Low contact sports like golf resumed play immediately but no postseason. High-risk sports such as lacrosse, has their season shortened and pushed back to May at the earliest. 

The decision comes as many athletes are eager to return to the courts and fields after a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

When spring athletes lost their season in mid-March of 2020, predictably, they were upset. Athletes were anxious to get back to the grind ASAP. 

The news of a shortened and delayed season hit hard for those athletes who didn’t have the opportunity in 2020. 

“It is kind of a hard punch to the gut to have sports pushed back this much,” said junior varsity lacrosse player Michael Cassidy. “Many students rely on their season to keep themselves in a healthy routine and stay active all while playing the sport they love.”  

Some athletes struck gold (sort of) on the IHSA’s decision. Sports such as golf were designated low-risk by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Health, causing those athletes to rejoice at the news of a sorta-normal season. 

“Obviously, Lake Forest Golf was disappointed that we did not get to compete for back-to-back state championships to keep our title at LFHS,” said Colin Jasper, a senior on the golf team. “We are thankful for the season we have been given and hope to win as many tournaments as we can for Lake Forest High School.” 

An argument that many people around town have heard is why states such as Texas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey are resuming play?

Senior Ian Dillow, a catcher on the varsity baseball team said, “there are plenty of states that aren’t pushing back their sports back and are doing just fine. It is a questionable decision from our governor and the IHSA.” 

In comparison, Illinois currently stands at 271,000 cases since March and has revised almost every sport’s schedule. The State of Florida, which has 674,000 cases since March with over 3,000 new cases each day statewide, has given schools the green light to resume high school sports as planned. 

Florida isn’t the lone example in America as a state like New Jersey, who has approximately 200,000 COVID-19 cases, will resume play for all sports starting October 1st while giving athletes that month back at the tail end of their seasons. 

Illinois has similar case numbers and we have most sports being postponed to the spring with no playoffs and shortened seasons. 

This is why people are frustrated with the IHSA, such as senior Will Webb. 

“Let the kids play,” he says.