Will still be able to start practices Nov. 16
Monticello High School will not defy the state’s orders and play boys and girls basketball games, although the district has not canceled the winter sports season.
At a special school board meeting Nov. 11, board members agreed to stick with the current policy of adhering to Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines. That means that non-contact drills can begin Monday, but no games will be allowed unless IDPH changes guidelines that would allow them.
School Superintendent Vic Zimmerman said he did not see any way games could start as scheduled on Nov. 30, even if the governor and IDPH officials end up meeting with the Illinois High School Association on Nov. 19 as the IHSA requested.
“I really don’t see the IDPH changing, or the governor changing, especially in light of the big spike we’ve seen in Illinois in the last couple of weeks,” he said.
He also felt the district needed to practice what it preached in showing students that it will follow the rules.
“We try to teach our students to follow all of the rules, not just the rules they like or don’t like,” said Zimmerman. “If we’re trying to tell our kids they should follow all the rules, I think that most districts should follow all the rules too. You can’t pick and choose.”
Girls and boys basketball practices will likely begin on Nov. 16 anyway, but Level 1 guidelines from the IHSA and IDPH mandates face coverings and no contact.
“It’s a lot of individualized work, a lot of shooting,” said Monticello High School Athletic Director Dan Sheehan. “You can put an offense in as long as you don’t have a defense. You can do a lot of up and down the court without a defense.”
“I think it’s good for our kids to have something to look forward to after school, even if it’s just practice,” added Zimmerman.
It was also noted at the board meeting that district attorneys also advised going against current state guidelines in regards to the winter sports season.
Sheehan said if the season is pushed back a month, teams could probably fit in about 15 games.
High school wrestling has already been moved to next summer.