Gallery: Count down the Pantagraph Top 10 Sports Stories of 2021 – The Pantagraph

All high school sports in Illinois were put on hold in mid-November 2020 when the state went to Tier 3 mitigations to combat a surge in COVID-19 cases. That came after the football season was postponed.

Just when many wondered if prep sports would ever return in the 2020-21 school year, hope appeared in mid-January.

Low-risk sports such as swimming could begin practicing immediately in regions of the state that were back to Tier 2 mitigations, while high-risk sports such as basketball could start holding team training with no physical contact.

A week later, the Illinois Department of Public Health gave clearance for all sports to return under certain guidelines, which included wearing a mask and no spectators. Teams were only allowed to play teams in their designated regions with no state tournaments allowed.

The Illinois High School Association quickly put together a new schedule that gave every sport an opportunity to compete. Basketball had a six-week schedule before football was allowed to play for six weeks starting in March.

“I have a big senior class, nine seniors, and my heart was breaking for them every single day that they might not get that opportunity to be out on the floor,” said Central Catholic girls basketball coach Debbie Coffman.

When spring sports began a couple weeks later than usual at the beginning of April, state tournaments were allowed for low-risk sports and fans were invited back to watch. 

The IHSA resumed its usual schedule for the 2021-22 school year. It has been business as usual thus far, with the football championship games taking place at DeKalb and all the fall sports holding their state tournaments.

Anticipation is growing for the return of the boys state basketball tournament to Champaign for the first time since 1995. The last two boys state finals at Peoria were canceled. There will be a different format for the boys and girls state finals at Redbird Arena. All four classes gather for three days (girls March 3-5, boys March 10-12) with four championship games on the final day.

Source: https://pantagraph.com/sports/gallery-count-down-the-pantagraph-top-10-sports-stories-of-2021/collection_904736bf-0c14-50a4-a7aa-9d584804cc32.html

All high school sports in Illinois were put on hold in mid-November 2020 when the state went to Tier 3 mitigations to combat a surge in COVID-19 cases. That came after the football season was postponed.

Just when many wondered if prep sports would ever return in the 2020-21 school year, hope appeared in mid-January.

Low-risk sports such as swimming could begin practicing immediately in regions of the state that were back to Tier 2 mitigations, while high-risk sports such as basketball could start holding team training with no physical contact.

A week later, the Illinois Department of Public Health gave clearance for all sports to retu…….

All high school sports in Illinois were put on hold in mid-November 2020 when the state went to Tier 3 mitigations to combat a surge in COVID-19 cases. That came after the football season was postponed.

Just when many wondered if prep sports would ever return in the 2020-21 school year, hope appeared in mid-January.

Low-risk sports such as swimming could begin practicing immediately in regions of the state that were back to Tier 2 mitigations, while high-risk sports such as basketball could start holding team training with no physical contact.

A week later, the Illinois Department of Public Health gave clearance for all sports to retu…….

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