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J. Thomas McNamara

Decatur and Macon County coaches of all sports are working closely to achieve their respective team’s goals for their approaching seasons which is advancing to the playoffs.

     Getting back to normalcy is another after a year of distractions that came from COVID-19.
     The traditional offseason of weightlifting, conditioning workouts and camps are all on a different time frame this year after a condensed spring season ended for teams on April 23 before the Friday night lights come back on Aug. 27 for the fall season.
     Schools rely heavily on multi-sport athletes.
     Sangamon Valley’s Michael Lee responded, “Nothing will really change for us; almost all my kids work during the summer, so we are limited by their schedules anyway.  We have weight room twice a week and have practice once a week (no pads, no contact).
      “We are going to Pleasant Plains and Riverton for 7 on 7 in July and will practice 4 days in a row the last week of July.  Then the kids will have 10 days off before we start on Aug. 9th.”
     Mount Zion’s Patrick Etherton offered, “We are currently lifting with our players and waiting for track and baseball to get over.  We have a lot of players doing multiple sports and we are excited they get that opportunity this year.
     “We will really start doing a lot of football stuff in the month of July.  We are excited to get things rolling and hopefully have some normalcy this fall.”

     Maroa-Forsyth’s Josh Jostes responded, “We won’t begin camp until July 6, 6 weeks later than normal.”
     LSA’s Jordan Hopman informed, “Nothing too different.  We’re starting in mid-July and only going to use 10 contact days.  When you only run 3 formations, 5 plays and never throw you don’t need a ton of time.

     “Otherwise I am encouraging kids and families to go on vacation, see family and be a kid.  As for me, spending time with my children and my honey-do list are dominating my down time.”
     Central A&M’s Brent Weakly offered, “We haven’t changed anything, business as usual.  June is basketball.  July football.  Weights four days a week, Monday through Thursday.”
    The state of Illinois moved to Phase 5 as a part of the Restore Illinois pandemic relief plan on June 11.  As a result of the move to Phase 5, many IHSA sports and activities have greater autonomy in scheduling, as well as in hosting fans.  Some of the highlights of the move to Phase 5 include…
    All IHSA sports can now schedule contests/meets with and against any other high school in the state, as well as with out-of-state opponents.
    There are no longer any spectator limitations. All IHSA host venues, indoor and outdoor, may host fans at 100% capacity.
    Masks are no longer required for student-athletes, coaches, and officials in low- and medium-risk outdoor sports.
     I will have more about fall sports in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.

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