CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Lori Lightfoot paid a visit to Gately Stadium in the Roseland community Saturday to cheer on Simeon Career Academy, as the Wolverines played and won in the Illinois football playoffs.
— Marissa Parra (@MarParNews) November 2, 2019
Simeon beat Lakes of Lake Villa 34-3 Saturday afternoon.
— ChicagoPublicSchools (@ChiPubSchools) November 2, 2019
Later in the day, Phillips Academy High School was set to take on Lincoln-Way West at Gately, and Kenwood Academy High School was to take on Riverside-Brookfield.
Also Saturday, Amundsen High School was taking on Marmion Academy at Winnemac Stadium, while Payton College Prep was set to take on Fenwick at Lane Stadium.
During the 11-day Chicago teachers’ strike that ended on Thursday, Simeon’s playoff hopes were left in jeopardy – along with those of 18 other schools. Illinois High School Association rules prohibit teams from playing in state tournaments if their schools are on strike.
With teachers and coaches on strike, the CPS teams were unable to practice from when the strike began Oct. 17, until the district gave them permission to resume practices this past Wednesday, if they had a non-union coach or representative who met IHSA certifications.
All 19 CPS football teams were able to make the proper arrangements on Wednesday so they could get in the three required practices before their playoff games began on Saturday.
With the district and the Chicago Teachers Union having reached a final agreement to end the strike Thursday afternoon, and with classes having resumed on Friday, the Simeon Wolverines and other football teams were able to focus on preparing for the playoffs.
The end of the teachers’ strike did not come early enough for some other Chicago Public Schools sports programs to make their respective playoffs. But on Friday, a Cook County judge overturned a decision by the IHSA keeping CPS cross-country runners from the Saturday state sectional meet.