CHICAGO (CBS) — Every state that borders Illinois is allowing football to be played this fall.
But the Friday night lights remain off in our state.
On Tuesday, the governor weighed in on whether there is any wiggle room on this. CBS 2’s Chris Tye reports from Simeon High School on the Chicago’s South Side.
Practices and instra-squad football camps are OK. But pushing start on a season just is not something Illinois Governor JB Pritzker is willing to budge on, despite that the volume of angry students and parents is getting louder.
For Crystal Lake Central senior Connor Bartesch, football training continues, as does his dream to play college football.
“This is squashing his dream right now,” said his father Martin Bartesch. “Because he wants to get out there and prove himself.”
Short term, the Tigers wont play this fall. Long term, college scouts and the scholarships that come with them are shut out from seeing Illinois’ brightest stars.
“My plea to you, Governor Pritzker, do the right thing,” said Connor’s mother Kelly Bartesch. “Not just in the short term, but in the long term.”
Every state that surrounds Illinois has green lit high school football. It’s evidence that doesn’t seem to sway the governor who doubled down on Tuesday.
“Those are states, fine if they’ve decided to endanger children and families to allow certain contact sports, that’s their decision,” Pritzker said. “That’s not something that is good for the families and children of Illinois.”
The risks and safety mechanisms on display Monday to football families at Hinsdale South High School: Student participating in football camp at Hinsdale South has tested positive for COVID-19.
“We will be suspending all football-related activities for 14 days and requiring all students and staff who participated in the camp to quarantine through September 24, 2020.”
Nearly every night this week, rallies are slated around Chicago and its suburbs; a plea for sports, normalcy and practical play
“Let’s get these kids back. They are missing out on so much on life. And this is their future,” said Kelly Bartesch. “And I don’t think people understand the enormity and the importance of this.”