MAC ON SPORTS: FOUR AREA HIGH SCHOOL COACHES RESPOND TO QUESTION ABOUT BASKETBALL PRACTICE THIS AFTERNOON

J. Thomas McNamara

 
    Four coaches responded to the Decatur Tribune inquiry if they were going to practice this afternoon (Monday).  The Illinois High School Association says schools could begin practices if they follow the Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines of no contact.
Central A&M’s Rob Smith, Cerro Gordo/Bement’s Brandon Willard, Decatur St. Teresa’s Tom Noonan and Maroa-Forsyth’s Aaron Ennis provided the newspaper with their plans.
    The Bulldogs Noonan went into more detail than the other coaches did in their responses to the Decatur Tribune’s inquiry.
    “We are bringing two groups (around 12 players in each group) in for shooting and skill workouts this week,” said Noonan.

    “I don’t believe anything will change after Thursday’s meeting.  It’s unfortunate that coaches, players, and fans still have no definitive answer or guidance from the leadership of the IHSA.  They are delaying the inevitable.  From my understanding St. Teresa will follow the guidance of the IDPH.
Our program goals for this week include establishing an accountability system for our players, beginning the captain selection process, identifying player learning preferences, and starting a fundraiser.  No matter the decision for the IHSA we plan to do our best to help our players improve this winter,” concluded Noonan.

Central A&M’s Smith offered, “We are as of this morning (Monday, Nov. 16).

    Cerro Gordo/Bement’s Brandon Willard responded, “We are not practicing until we get word from IDPH and ihsa that we can have a season.  I am hopeful, but not optimistic.

    Aaron Ennis said, ” Maroa-Forsyth is not practicing.  We will have open gyms 2 days this week and then will adjust our plan based on the results of Thursday’s meeting.
    The two Decatur public high schools–Eisenhower and MacArthur–are in remote learning that has all buildings closed to extracurricular activities, including athletics.
    I will be following Thursday’s meeting where the IHSA has invited representatives of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois State Board of Education, the Principal’s Association and from the superintendents group to an 8:30 a.m. meeting.
    I will have more on this obviously developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune where readers come to find the latest prep information.
 

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