IHSA officially cancels spring athletic competitions

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The Illinois High School Association announced April 21 that all spring state tournaments are canceled after its board of directors met via videoconference earlier that day. Summer practice days have been suspended until government and medical officials deem such meetings to be safe.

U-High Athletics Director David Ribbens said it was not unexpected based on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s announcement on April 17.

“It is so utterly disappointing to see it official and in writing,” Mr. Ribbens wrote in an email to the Midway. “I am so sad for our seniors who will not be given a chance to end their high school career wearing their U-High uniform competing with their teammates on the field of play.”

Although seniors will not get an in-person celebration as they have in previous years, Mr. Ribbens said seniors would receive a special certificate from the Independent School League, recognizing and thanking seniors for their contribution to the conference. 

The post-season awards, usually announced at the schoolwide end-of-year awards ceremony, will move on as planned. The William “Doc” Monilaw medal selection is in process, the Bill Zarvis Award winners and the James Wherry-Willis award will be awarded remotely by the end of the school year.

While Mr. Ribbens is optimistic that fall athletics will proceed as planned, if universities, including the University of Chicago, choose to delay fall athletics, U-High could be affected.

“I think there is a chance that our fall season may be impacted. Too early to tell, but I could see us starting after the designated start date of Aug. 10,” Mr. Ribbens wrote. “I know some colleges and universities are talking about modifications to their fall semesters, and that will likely affect athletics across the board.”

Many seniors were looking forward to adopting a leadership position on their team as a culmination of three years of hard work.

“I’m devastated by the news, but I do understand the logic behind it given the severity of the situation,” Liz Gately, senior on the girls soccer team, said. “We had great team chemistry and talent this year, so I wanted to see where that would take us. I also was looking forward to taking up more of a leadership role, so I’m disappointed that none of that will happen.”