Hundreds rally in Springfield urging for the return of high school sports


SPRINGFIELD (WCIA) — Maroa-Forsyth head coach Josh Jostes figured people might have better things to do on a Saturday afternoon, but on the day after what would have been week four of the high school football season — hundreds flocked to the Capitol Building asking the state to let them back out on to the field.

“That’s all we’re asking for is that choice,” says Jostes.

Every state surrounding Illinois is playing high school football right now. Which is one of the most frustrating parts for coaches and players who want to do the same.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” says Monticello football player Jimmie Smith. “But I’m grateful for those states. They’re doing their thing, they’re doing it very well. I hope we can do it that well too.”

“I’m happy for those states that they’re able to do it,” says Monticello head coach Cully Welter. “But it’s frustrating when you see that we’re at this point about the only state in the middle of the country that isn’t playing.”

Football isn’t the only sport with their season on standby right now. Volleyball, soccer, and wrestling we’re also out trying to kickstart a return to their season. Sacred Heart Griffin volleyball coach Sandy Hamilton thinks coaches will know what’s best for their kids.

“I do believe that we can do this safely,” says Hamilton. “Again, I am a Mom. I’m not going to put my kids out their if I feel it’s going to be detrimental to them.”

Coaches think any fall sport would need to start the first weekend in October to get a meaningful season. They hope the rally gets the ball rolling in the right direction.

“If it’s football great, I’m a football coach. But I’m also a track coach so if it’s track, great,” says Jostes. “If it just assures that basketball starts on time in November, so be it on that. But let’s get moving.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.