It appears that no basketball will be played at Galesburg High School this winter.
The school board indicated they’d follow the Illinois Department of Public Health and Governor J.B. Pritzker’s recommendation of delaying the high school basketball season to the spring.
The Illinois High School Association had come out saying the high school basketball season would go on during the winter, defying the Governor’s directive and a decision made to classify the sport as “high risk” for COVID-19.
On Friday, superintendents with schools in the Western Big Six decided to delay the start of the basketball seasons to stay in line with Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health directive.
“Based on that input, our Western Big Six superintendents all agreed: one, we all want to play basketball. We all want to. But two, we believe we should wait and to delay the season until the IDPH, the Governor’s office, and the [Illinois State Department of Education] clears us to do it.”
Athletic Director Eric Matthews told school board members last night that one of the issues now is that with so many schools following the path to not play if Galesburg chose to play this winter they’d have limited options for opponents.
“Actually Wednesday, the IHSA is having a special board of directors meeting. Because, one of the things they are finding out… they’ve sent a survey out throughout the state to see who’s going to play and who’s not going to play. And, the results are coming back and it’s most people aren’t going to play because of litigation. But also to the same point, who are they going to play? As we were sitting here tonight, District 150 says they’re not going to play basketball. So, that’s all Peoria schools.”
Additionally, Dr. Asplund added they didn’t want to put students at risk or put the district at risk in litigation.
“For us, we’re going to really start to narrow who we can play, because we can’t go out of our COVID region so we have to stay within our region,” Matthews added. “So, our pool of teams considerably shrinking fast.”
No action was taken by the District 205 school board but they agreed with the direction to follow the IDPH, ISBE, and Governor Pritzker’s directive.