IHSA considers extending spring athletics seasons

With the continued spread of COVID-19, high school sports seasons have faced uncertain futures

Assistant+coach+Ray+Currie+congratulates+last+year%27s+varsity+softball+team+between+innings+during+a+game+on+April+6%2C+2019.+Spring+sports+and+other+extracurriculars+were+among+cancellations+in+the+wake+of+coronavirus.

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Assistant coach Ray Currie congratulates last year’s varsity softball team between innings during a game on April 6, 2019. Spring sports and other extracurriculars were among cancellations in the wake of coronavirus.

Emma Snyder, Staff Writer

With the delay of the spring sports seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IHSA is considering the extension of the season, according to a letter from Craig Anderson, the IHSA’s Executive Director. 

“We are considering an extension of the spring sports season limitation to provide more participation opportunities for students,” stated Anderson in his letter. “This may include movement of the post-season timelines and State Series.”

There is a lot of uncertainty around the spring season for all sports due to the spread and severity of COVID-19. IHSA will make decisions for this year’s spring sports season based on recommendations from the government, state health department, and local health department. The length of the season will be determined by the date schools are allowed to return to session. 

For students and coaches across all spring sports at MCHS, extending the season would allow them to have a season and give athletes the opportunity to display their hard work. 

I am really hoping [IHSA] extends the season,” said Andrew Stegenga, head varsity coach for girls soccer. “It would be awesome to be able to give the ladies the ability to get to play together as a team at least for a little bit.”

The uncertainty of the spring season is disappointing for athletes. Seniors, like varsity girls lacrosse player Summer Cassidy, are especially hoping for an extended season so that they might be able to play their sport with their high school team one last time. 

“I feel like we’re not even going to get to play this year,” said Cassidy. “And it makes me sad that last year could’ve been the end of my lacrosse career.” 

Mikaela Mitsch, head varsity softball coach, is also disappointed by the uncertain season. Similar to the players, Mitsch misses being with the team and coaching them through the season. 

Every day we don’t practice, play, or even have our infamous kickball games is a struggle and is heartbreaking,” said Mitsch. “[The team has] been robbed of an amazing season together. And for them to get that back, even if it is shorter than what they were expecting before, that would mean the world to them, and me!”

While athletes are disappointed about not having the season they were looking forward to, they are also disappointed about not having that season to spend with their teammates. 

“The thing I enjoy most about playing baseball is being with the team,” said Luke Anderson, a player on MCHS’s baseball team. “Everyone has their highs and lows, big moments and big mistakes, but the one thing that stays constant is the team.”  

Freshman Cooper Ten Bruin, a varsity softball player, was looking forward to a season that she has been working hard to get to for the last seven years of playing softball. Ten Bruin was looking forward to bonding with her new team this season. 

“It’s hard to get to see [the team], have a few practices, and all of it just be cut off,” said Ten Bruin. “We all clicked right away and it was great and we were all looking forward to the season. Then this happened and we were all like what now?” 

While everything is still uncertain and the timeline hasn’t yet been set for the season, IHSA continues to update schools, coaches, and athletes on the status of the spring season. They continue to make decisions that are in the best interest of the health and safety of all people involved in athletics.