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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

BBCHS Coach: ‘We will lose sports again’ if attempts to control virus aren’t made

"I already had to tell a track team our season was cancelled and I don’t want to do it again this fall.”

BBCHS Head Track and Field Coach Freddie Dudek has a message for fans of student athletics this past week.

“Don’t complain about losing sports if you aren’t going to make attempts to limit the spread of the virus.” Dudek warned. Dudek is a multi-sport coach who doubles as an Assistant Football Coach for defensive backs at the High School, making cancellations of athletic programs twice as difficult.

Coach Dudek posted the warning to his Twitter account last Friday. The same day Kankakee County saw 27 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, capping off a week where the area saw over 90 new infections in the pandemic.

Dudek is one of the few public voices locally to speak out in support of basic of contagion measures in a county that has regularly topped a variety of warning lists published by the Illinois Department of Public Health in the pandemic.

“If numbers keep going up we will lose sports again.  I already had to tell a track team our season was cancelled and I don’t want to do it again this fall.” Dudek said in the tweet. The BBCHS coach is just one of thousands of coaches in the United States that had to inform students this past spring their season was canceled.  

With changes to IHSA “Return to Play” guidelines this past week, that warning becomes even more prevalent as IHSA begins weighing options for this coming fall athletics season. 

Three options are currently in play, according to IHSA officials, involving a shortened season, flipping seasonal sports all together, and cancelling the season. 

“To go two years without spring sports isn’t good for kids.  I think if we have a season canceled, then we gotta have some consideration if we can provide opportunities for kids and some shortened versions of seasons throughout the year.” IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said last week when addressing the various scenarios.

The new IHSA guidelines will be followed at BBCHS, starting Monday.

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