Area high schools think contact sports can happen safely this fall


SPRINGFIELD (WCIA) — This week Governor J.B. Pritzker defended his decision to not allow contact sports this fall, and that’s why hundreds rallied at the state Capitol in Springfield yesterday asking to “Let us play!”

Josh Jostes, head coach at Maroa-Forsyth says there are usually 300 plus students involved with sports or activities. Jostes says right now there are only about 20. His hope is that football, or other contact sports could start in October to help set a trend of normalcy.

“Let’s get more activities and more sports involved, there’s no reason that we can’t add some of these things, the baseball softball track, we’ve all decided that it was socially distant, why are they not out there?” says Jostes. “There are plans to get kids to play, which will then give us the data to hopefully prove that kids are not going to be the primary spreaders and there’s not going to be this huge outbreak.”

“Let us play” rallies took place across the state yesterday including several in Chicago, and a smaller one in Paris, IL. The IHSA moved high risk sports to the winter and spring, but many are worried Governor Pritzker could pull back and not allow contact sports at all. Athletes in Paris are still holding out hope for that chance in whatever way it may be.

“We just want to play, we don’t care if it’s right now, we don’t care if it’s in the spring, we’re just going to do whatever we can to get a season,” says Paris senior Jude Sullivan.

“Whenever it is, just tell us, and we’re going to be ready,” says Paris junior Logan Bartley. “Whether it’s February, whether it’s two weeks, Christmas, we’re going to be there. We’re going to be ready, and we’re going to be ready to go, but we’re going to do stuff right. We’re going to have masks, we’re going to keep ourselves distanced, temperature checks, whatever we got to do, we’ll do it, we just want the opportunity.”

Right now cross country, golf, swimming, and tennis are the only high school sports allowed in Illinois.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.