Pritzker and the IHSA’s “Double Down” on Fall Sports Decision Hits Home in Loyola Community


The Year

Kicker Nate Van Zelst kicks off Loyola’s 2019 fall football season, something that will not happen this year due to the postponement of fall sports.

Colin Hegener, Writer

It seems Loyola Academy’s student-athletes’ cries have fallen short of their goal to reverse the decision on fall sports, with Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker saying he’s “not going to budge” on his previous decision of the postponement of fall sports in Illinois. 

Many of the student-athletes were seen downtown last Saturday morning outside of Pritzker’s Chicago residence, protesting for the Governor to reverse his prior decision. 

According to some of the student-athletes, especially football players, they think the decision is completely wrong.

“I just don’t understand how we are going back to school but we aren’t playing football. School is more dangerous in my opinion by far. If I’m being honest with you, I don’t want to wait for the fall, I want to play now,” said Loyola Academy senior wide receiver Ben Bazarek. 

With Minnesota voting to restart football and volleyball Monday, that leaves Illinois as the only Midwestern state not playing football in the fall. 

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said senior Owen Mathes. “How is it that every other state not on the coast is playing and we’re not? It makes no sense to me and it rattles me a little bit.” 

This decision has led to rallies and protests, specifically led by Illinois high school football coaches who feel like their fall season is being “stolen” from them. The coaches are hoping the rallies get to Pritzker and emphasize the impact fall sports have on Illinois kids everywhere. 

The decision has also left many kids confused, as the scientific and medical data does not support the decision to delay the season. 

“Yea, like coach [Holecek] was saying, it takes fifteen minutes for it to be a real concern, and an average play lasts 4 seconds. I just don’t know why they can’t start the season, and then delay it if even a minor outbreak happens,” said senior wide receiver Chris Loucks. 

According to a preprint study by The New York Times, researchers reviewed that in 7,000 Chinese COVID-19 cases, only one of those was spread through outdoor transmission. To put that in perspective, even if someone on a fall sports team had it, if all activities were done outside, the chances of them spreading it fall to .00014 percent. 

So J.B., the ball is in your court, don’t take the joy and happiness seen every fall from these young athletes. Join in the movement and #LetUsPlay.