High school athletes, coaches react to IHSA canceling state tournaments


WCIA — Some are continuing to hold out hope while others have already thrown in the towel. All feelings are on the table and fair at this point, as high school coaches, athletes and fans are trying to navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

The IHSA announced on Tuesday it has canceled all spring sport state tournaments, effectively ending the season. The Board of Directors did leave the door open however to possibly playing some games or practices, if Gov. Pritzker clears the state to re-open.

“Everybody thought it was over, because that’s what everybody had said, and then now that this is going on, there’s light at the end of the tunnel maybe,” Tuscola senior pitcher and Wright State signee Logan Tabeling said. “Hopefully a rock doesn’t go there and close it real quick, but there’s at least something to look forward to.”

Unity softball coach Aimee Davis has been trying to stay positive with her team. The Rockets were looking to defend their regional title and expected to compete for an Illini Prairie Conference championship this season.

“Obviously with the latest news, it’s kind of tough to deliver but the girls have been really supportive of each other and besides emotional,” Davis said. “If it’s anything, just for the girls to play together one last time, I think if we were able to make it happen, it would be a huge send off for our senior class.”

On the other side of the spectrum, Unit 4 school administrators decided on Tuesday its two high schools, Central and Centennial, would not participate in any sport practices or games this semester, regardless of what the IHSA dictates.

“I’m glad they finally pulled the band-aid off. It needed to be pulled off,” Centennial baseball coach Ryan Remole said. “I understand the IHSA wanting to try and make sure the kids have an opportunity as much as possible but I’d be real, real shocked if they did anything after they shut down the state tournament or having any type of sanctioned things or anything like that.”

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