Photo courtesy of @BG_bison
On Jan. 21, Illinois lowered Region 10 to tier 2 status. A week later on Jan. 27, the IHSA board approved a sports schedule for the remainder of the year, complete with practice and game start dates. While all conditions are subject to changes, many athletes are eager to begin their seasons.
“This year I’m most excited for the social aspect, and camaraderie that comes with being on a team,” sophomore Holden Wheeler said. “It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to work in person with many other people in order to work together as a team.”
This year, the delay of winter sports has resulted in many overlapping seasons. During one particular week in April over 12 sports will have their season at the same time.
“I think we are all unbelievably excited to have kids engaged here at the high school,” girls’ athletic director Matt Myers said. “It’s great after school now to hear basketballs in the gym and I hear people talking to each other, and see our cheerleader and dancers perform. I know we are still navigating what that looks like. As you can imagine there are a lot of sports trying to share our indoor and outdoor facilities as well as our athletes. It’s going to be a challenge moving forward, but I am optimistic that coaches are up to the challenge and so are our athletes.”
An overlap between club and high school seasons has also been seen in multiple sports such as volleyball and softball. Volleyball will begin practices on March 8th and coaches of all sports are making efforts to allow students to continue both of their seasons. Myers believes it is important for athletes to keep good communication with coaches and maintain awareness of their physical state.
“For varsity, I think our biggest thing is going to be having players who are still playing club and having national state qualifiers that are going to overlap with our school season,” senior Hannah Arbitman said. “We’ll see what happens, I think the biggest thing for us is to stay level headed and control what we can.”
Although the schedule is set to guide the remainder of this year’s sport seasons, the schedule is still subject to changes and further developments. Although all sports have adapted to a seven day practice period before games, the possibility of state series varies from sport to sport. Dance and cheerleading have received confirmation on their virtual state series and all other sports either have yet to be determined or will not have a state series this year.
“I think what we’ve learned is an unbelievable need to be flexible in this COVID-19 day and age and in our world of athletics,” Myers said. “We don’t know what changes will happen. I think our coaches, our athletes and our parents are aware of that.”
Arbitman will be a senior on the girls’ varsity volleyball team this season. One of the struggles she believes teams may face this year is the inconsistent training that COVID-19 can cause. The loss of in-person spectators was seen by fall season sports and will most likely continue for all indoor sports. Students and staff can attend broadcasting lives and support BG athletes and teams through social media.
“With no having any spectators I think it is going to be very quiet in the gym and it might even feel like a team scrimmage,” Arbitman said. “I think that is scary because we might consider it to be that way and not take it seriously as a full game.”
Wheeler, who will be diving for the variety boy’s team, encourages all students and staff to support BG athletes through the live streams available for free on the BG website. As always, athletes should also make their best effort to stay safe and healthy.
“Value this opportunity and wear a mask,” Myers said. “Do everything that you can do to make sure that these opportunities will be there for you, your teammates, the families and our school.”
More information and specifics about winter and springs sports will be made available in the following weeks. Check your emails and the IDPH website for the latest news.