Game on: Lewistown, Peoria Christian, others will open IHSA hoops season as scheduled
PEORIA — Basketball is not dead yet for 2020-21 in central Illinois.
Peoria Christian High School and Lewistown High School both say they will begin practices as scheduled on Nov. 16 and play games when the IHSA season starts Nov. 30.
Washington High School says it will begin practices on Nov. 16 and is waiting for more guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education regarding basketball.
"We are going to play hoops," Lewistown athletic director Greg Bennett said. "The question for us is, will we have anyone to play against?
"We have a conference meeting (on Thursday) and we'll get a better idea then of who else is playing. We feel we can safely play, and it's something we want for the kids.
"I'm sure Gov. Pritzker has a few more shoes to drop in all this, too.
"Just about everyone else I talk to is waiting to see how this plays out."
Said Peoria Christian athletic director Cory Hynek:
"We felt the IHSA mitigations and guidelines provide a safe way to play basketball. We've had no superspreader events during our contact days. Our kids need an opportunity to play.
"Our parents will make the final decision on what's best for their children. If they choose not to play, that's OK. But the kids deserve to have the chance.
"We don't know yet who we are going to play against. But we feel there are going to be other schools who decide to play. I've already done four basketball schedules this year.
"We want our kids to have exposure to our coaches. How do you learn to work through adversity, deal with challenges?"
Dave Eminian is the Journal Star sports columnist, and covers the Rivermen and Chiefs. He writes the Cleve In The Eve sports column for pjstar.com. Reach him at 686-3206 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @icetimecleve.
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