How Will NUIC Sports Look Next Year?
By Al Zipsie
The times we are living in 2020 are unprecedented. Nothing is routine.
The IHSA has announced different seasons because of Covid-19. For the first time ever football will not be played this fall. The football season has been moved to the spring.
"I think it's a good call," said Dakota football coach Joe Free. "Personally I think there are bigger issues to tackle, like in person vs remote learning and teacher concerns. As long as the IHSA is given us an alternative so the kids can have all their seasons, I'm good with it.
The good news is sports and football will still be played. Of course with this pandemic nothing is for sure. Some states have also moved football to the spring. Others in areas less effected by the virus are still planning on fall football. In some cases like Wisconsin the season is still on but delayed. The exception to Illinois high schools from our area who play this year are Scales Mound and Warren. Both Coop with Wisconsin schools in Benton and Blackhawk who are the defending state champions.
It will be different as football ends by May and then the next season would start again a short time later if they go back to a fall season in 2121.
Let's stay positive and look on the bright side. A chance to play four sports and football players to maybe go out for golf and cross country the non contact
sports that will be played.
The high school boys basketball state finals and all spring sports were cancelled earlier due to covid. Lena-Winslow in football and Polo in 8 man football, Eastland in girls basketball and Dakota in wrestling got in state championships before this he were cancelled.
Moving the spring sports to fall and switching places was an idea. But since school will not be in person for awhile the spring sports will be moved to summer
This includes baseball, softball and track
Those sports were cancelled last spring and hope to return just a little later. The other seasons with no football in the fall will be moved up including an earlier basketball season.
So football can start in March. When I played baseball at Dakota in 1980 it was a summer season. We started with 18 players but ended up with only four showing up for a game. Hopefully the difference is the games in early summer will still have a state tournament ad part of the season giving more incentive. But then the summer season did not have a state tournament, that was only in the spring season.
So the normal fall season stars warm to start practice and is cold by the end of the season. In this scenario it will be cold to start and then warmer into the playoffs.
People are concerned with the weather and muddy fields. The snow melting from WI her and the spring rains could make a mess of the fields. Yes it may mean snow and water on the field. However, the regular football season in the fall also can be cold, with rain and snow.
Football practice now begins Feb 15 with the opening kickoff on Friday March 5th. Basketball and football still are back to back, just in opposite order at least for this year. Volleyball is also moved to the spring.
"This plan, like nearly every aspect of our current lives, remain fluid," said IHSA Executive Director," Craig Anderson. "Changes may come, and if they do, we will be agile while putting safety and students first."
"No decision is easy during this time," added Free. "I think the IHSA did a great job of being transparent and honest during this entire thing and their giving us a chance. It's up to us to do the right things to make sure we curb the spread of the virus and are able to have a season. I tell the kids, control the controllable and all we can do is be ready to compete come Valentine's Day."
Check out our Rockford area sports pages by going to Facebook and Dakota Il football history. NUUC sports hardware. NUIC track records. NIC-10 track records which also includes Rockford area track records. Dakota I'm wrestling history. The newest site is Rockford Northern Illinois softball honors. A site for softball both men and women, fast pitch and slow pitch.