IHSA postpones basketball season

Courtesy of IHSA

Courtesy of IHSA

By Shannon Magura

As the weather turns colder, and the COVID-19 cases continue to increase, the chances of students at Huntley High School returning for school start to turn slim.

Huntley has returned to phase two, which means restaurants and businesses are starting to shut down again. With students not even being in school, the lingering question is whether or not sports seasons will be allowed. For some sports, having a season in the midst of COVID-19 is possible. For others, like basketball, it will be a challenge. 

Steve Raethz coaches the girls varsity basketball team, and their sport is one of many that has gotten the rough end of the deal. 

“Last Friday our school board recommended to adhere to the governor’s office directive that the basketball season be postponed. As of right now, the hope is that we get the opportunity to play in February,” Raethz said. 

William Benson, who coaches the boys varsity team, received the same news.

“The problem is there’s a lot of issues specifically about insurance covering the athletes that might potentially get COVID, combined with the fact that the governor and the Illinois Department of Public Health don’t think it’s a good idea to play,” Benson said. 

Now that word of the basketball season being pushed back until spring is out, many more questions have been raised regarding this decision. 

“If we do have a season, it will be different than what a typical season might look like. The season will be shorter, we won’t be playing as many games, and we will most likely be playing a schedule against conference schools and teams within our region. Additionally, I’m sure the requirement of wearing masks will still be in place as well,” Raethz said. 

Many more accommodations will be made as well in order to help the athletes adapt to playing under the new circumstances. 

“If you’re playing a home game, there’s no jump balls and the visiting team starts with the ball first. I don’t know that that’s a big deal especially if it’s at a neutral site like a tournament, which there won’t be any of those,” Benson said. “Other than that, I know that another accommodation was if there’s a 30 second timeout, only the five guys on the floor can be in the timeout, but if it’s a full timeout, everybody can be in it but socially distanced.”

Although the basketball players cannot have a season right now, they are hoping for it in the near future, and know that postponing it is what is best for everyone.