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J. Thomas McNamara

    No public schools in Springfield will play basketball until at least January, according to action the Springfield school board took Monday night.

    And to the northwest, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria said all its Catholic schools would wait until January to play.
    They’ve decided to follow Gov. JB Pritzker’s and Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines instead of opting to follow the Illinois High School Association that is opening practice to member schools who want to play now for Nov. 16 practices and games Nov. 30.  That means the two largest school districts in the CS8 have opted to postpone their roundball until at least January.
    The decision by the diocese of Peoria affects St. Teresa’s scheduling, it is playing as Champaign St. Thomas More is one of the schools that won’t be playing until January and they were scheduled to play Tom Noonan’s Bulldogs in early December. 
    A proposal by Springfield District 186 Supt. Gill, with advice, would honor the Illinois Department of Public Health and Gov. Pritzker’s wishes about basketball, but push back the start of the season to early Jan. Jason Wind: start of the Nov. 16 season “not viable.”

    Jason Wind, Director of School Support for District 186, said that if there are basketball games, there would be no fans in the gyms.
    Central State 8 athletic directors are meeting Wednesday, according to Wind.
    Less than one week after the IHSA Board of Directors determined individual school districts and leadership groups would decide whether their athletes play basketball this school year, two local schools know their fate.
    St. Thomas More and Schlarman are among the Diocese of Peoria schools that will not participate in the planned 2020-21 prep hoops campaign, school leaders informed families Monday.
    Diocese officials opted to side with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s camp instead of the IHSA regarding playing basketball amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the Sabers and Hilltoppers, this decision affects hoopsters from Bloomington Central Catholic, Ottawa Marquette, Peoria Notre Dame, Peru St. Bede and Rock Island Alleman.
    I will have more on this developing story, including a followup with Eisenhower’s Athletic Director Tim Gould and MacArthur’s Jason Crutcher, on what the Central State AD’s decided at their Wednesday meeting.  When you want to know what’s going on in the prep sports world turn to the Decatur Tribune.

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