Four IHSA fall sports continue, football delayed

Noah Maldonado, Editor in chief

The 2020-21 IHSA fall sports season kicked off Aug. 10 and will end Oct. 24. Contact sports such as football are delayed until the Spring while four sports are cleared to play.
The COVID-19 pandemic altered the dynamics of practice and games for sports. Before practices, players must answer a questionnaire that covers symptoms of the virus including fever, sore throat, and shortness of breath.
Ken Bublitz, South’s athletic director, explains the process of assessment and the determinations made from it.
“Assessment is a big thing,” Bublitz said. “If anybody has symptoms they immediately go home and that’s occurred at times throughout the summer and into the fall. We work really closely with the district and contact them immediately if there’s any situation where they need to be made aware.”
Cross country is one of four student sports currently in season. Jason Crowe, boys cross country head coach, highlights pandemic restrictions and enthusiasm emanating from the team.
“We have to show up wearing a mask to practices. We have to maintain 10 feet, they say six feet, but I tell the guys 10 feet. [Overall,] I think the attitude has been really good,” Crowe said.
In girls cross country, according to varsity runner McKayla Gleason the team is pulling together well, especially because of effects in current circumstances.
“I think the team is more supportive of each other because we don’t have many other people to cheer us on this year,” Gleason said.
Alongside cross country, girls tennis competes in the fall. Kyle Black, girls tennis head coach, points out changes to competitions in tennis.
“We cancelled every Saturday tournament we have. We’re not playing this year, so that’s six or seven tournaments we would’ve been in that are cancelled,” Black said.
Black also explained tennis plays within its COVID region, which uniquely applies to other sports as well.
Girls and boys golf are currently in season as well, but have their share of COVID-19 precautionary measures. Wherever social distancing is not possible, golfers must wear a mask.
Caroline Butler, girls golf coach, describes the areas in which golfers typically cannot maintain six feet of distance.
“We see the girls mostly wearing the masks on the tee box and putting green. Those are the two spaces the girls can’t maintain a safe distance,” Butler said.
Katie Reyes, varsity girls golfer, says the team upholds present protocol.
“As a team we’ve all seemed to keep distance and respect each other’s space,” Reyes said.
Bridget Pollard, varsity girls swimming and diving player, says the swim team is attempting to play as normally as they can.
“We are trying to make this year of swimming as similar as we can to last year because we are just thankful there is a season,” Pollard said.
As limited fall sports play, South’s football team awaits the prospective Spring for a season. Head coach Bill Bicker indicates a continuing enthusiasm for the sport.
“We’ve got a nice freshmen group, our numbers there are the same as the past few years. We are getting new faces as well, people who were in the building already,” Bicker said.
The IHSA continues to lift and ease certain restrictions per the guidance of the state and circumstance. Currently, cross country and golf will see culminating sectional tournaments in a new expansion.