The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announced via its April Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday that all spring sports tournaments have been canceled. The board also decided to suspend all summer contact days for this year unless the state government and medical leaders indicate that such group gatherings are safe.
From a football perspective, it means that all team summer events, including seven-on-seven and team camps, are now on hiatus.
"It wasn't unexpected, but in some ways, it's a punch in the gut, initially," Lincoln-Way East 8A state champion head coach Rob Zvonar said regarding the suspension of summer contact days. "Yet we have to be cautious first on the side of safety for our kids and make sure we are doing everything we are asked to do. Hopefully, we will see more improvement in the future with the virus, and that the IHSA can revisit the suspension and allow us time to go back to work this summer."
Mount Carmel head coach Jordan Lynch had similar sentiments.
"It's unfortunate," Lynch said. "But so is what's going on in the world today. Hopefully, we can get back to normal soon and uplift the suspension."
IHSA football teams are allowed 25 contact days in the summer to prepare the upcoming football season. That includes various team events such as seven-on-sevens, linemen challenges and team camps. The elimination of those contact days will undoubtedly impact the fall season. That said, it also won't be the first time IHSA football teams have had to prepare with no summer football.
"Not too long ago, we had no summer football in June or July," Zvonar said. "In a best case scenario, we would have some time in July to have contact and prepare. We will just need to be flexible and adjust to when things eventually improve and we are able to get back to work."
So how long would Zvonar need to get his team ready for the football season?
"I can see us still having our teams ready for the season if we have no contact days allowed until August. It would not be an ideal situation, and we would need to work differently. We would need to have less contact and more conditioning. In that scenario, we as coaches can handle it while making sure our kids overall health and safety is our biggest priority."