By J. Thomas McNamara
Decatur Caterpillar Thanksgiving Tournament Coordinator Melvin J. Roustio today (Wednesday, Aug. 5), officially announced there will not be a 51st annual Thanksgiving Tournament this November.
Roustio has advised the eight participating teams and news media that due to the recently announced Illinois High School Association’s sports participation guidelines that allow teams to play only two games per week and no tournaments with more than three teams, he is cancelling this year’s tournament which would have been the 51st annual.
The eight teams scheduled to participate this year were Bolingbrook, defending champion Harvey Thornton, Springfield Southeast, Peoria Central, Decatur Eisenower, Decatur MacArthur, Champaign Central Central and East St. Louis.
The November 2021 field for the 51st will have Peoria Manual replacing East St. Louis. The other seven are Decatur Eisenhower, Decatur MacArthur, Peoria Central, Bolingbrook, Harvey Thornton, Springfield Southeast and Champaign Central.
It is also the fourth longest running Thanksgiving tournament in the state of Illinois, according to research Decatur Tribune sports editor and tournament historian found from his exhaustive research in the last month.
Thanksgiving Basketball has become a Decatur tradition.
I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.