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Missouri, Illinois associations express hope for spring high school sports season

Missouri, Illinois associations express hope for spring high school sports season

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IHSA Boys State Track

Madison's Kendall Kennedy clears the bar in the 300-meter hurdles during the IHSA Boys State Championship on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at O'Brien Field on the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill. Paul Halfacre | STLhighschoolsports.com

In separate news releases issued Wednesday, the Missouri and Illinois state high school activities associations both stated a desire to see a spring sports season played in some form if possible as the nation fights the coronavirus pandemic.

While schools in Illinois have been ordered closed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker through April 7 and many Missouri schools are closed through late April based on decisions of local districts, IHSA executive director Craig Anderson stated a plan could be to play well into June.

“As the IHSA staff and board of directors continue to monitor updates from government offices, as well as state and local health departments, we continue to support the possibility of our member schools completing both regular- and post-season spring sport seasons,” Anderson said in the IHSA news release. “The date schools are allowed to return to session will determine the length of the spring sports season and the potential of an IHSA state series.”

The sentiment in Missouri via a release by the Missouri State High School Activities Association echoed the Illinois statement.

While changes will have to be made, the plan for now is that in some form the show would go on.

“While schools across the state are determining the best course of action during this unprecedented time, the (MSHSAA) office staff continues to prepare for the spring championships,” the MSHSAA release said. “In all likelihood, any championships that do happen will have a very different look and feel than those in the past. The staff continues to find possible venues and backup venues, as well as continue to develop multiple variations of what a postseason may look like.”

The effort to salvage something this spring comes after both the MSHSAA and IHSA were forced to cancel a portion of their respective basketball championships due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus.

While the hope is there for a postseason in both states, both bodies have said that the situation remains fluid and could change at any time based upon governmental intervention.

“In this time of uncertainty, it's nice to still have some hope of having games during the spring season,' Ladue soccer coach Dave Aronberg said. “I think most coaches and players would be on board to have some sort of modified season if for no other reason to send seniors off in some way, shape or form.”

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