While the IHSA made moves on Wednesday, the IHSAA stayed on its course.
With Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb setting his guidelines to play, almost all counties in the state are able to start the fall season as planned.
For North Vermillion Athletics Director Martin Brown, who is also part of the IHSAA Board of Directors, it is a culmination of a summer of work and discussion.
“There is still some wondering how it is going to play out, but we are going into the right direction,” Brown said. “Through the summer, there have been a lot of restrictions and a lot of caution taken to get us through the summer. Players have brought their own water, we have had face coverings inside other than vigorous activity and you have to wear your mask outside if you are closer than six feet or doing vigorous activity and that is going to continue per the Governor’s orders.”
North Vermillion also travels sometimes to Illinois before conference play in some sports. Brown said that he is still holding out hope to play teams like Westville and Paris, but is realistic.
“At this point, it looks like we may have lost them. I have been keeping an eye on things in Illinois and we want to have confirmation before taking them off the schedule,” Brown said. “I don’t want to say that Illinois is not going to change, but we want to give it some time. I heard of the proposal from the IHSA, but we want to hear everything from the AD’s of the schools.”
Brown said that many solutions were discussed but moving a fall season to the spring was one that was not talked about much.
“There were never any arguments on anything but to move the season forward,” Brown said. “As a board, there were conversation about how we were going to do things, but we were never going to flip sports, because if we lose the fall, that would mean spring sports would lose twice and we didn’t want to have that look.
“It’s a lot for a kid to lose two seasons, so that was not a good idea and it didn’t get a lot of traction because we lost spring sports last season and we didn’t want to do that again.”
Now with the season set to start, Brown said his coaches are ready but still holds the lessons learned from the summer.
“I think they are excited but optimistic. We know that things can change, but we are happy to have the opportunity to play,” Brown said. “We screened coaches and kids all throughout the summer and we actually sent kids and coaches home that didn’t feel well or look good. We had veteran coaches who did the things in the summer so we didn’t have to sacrifice the fall season.”
Brown said that things will be a little different when play begins, but hopes that it will be only temporary.
“Moving forward it will be different. It is like when we started the concussion protocol, we were worried about how long a player would be out and we figured things out as time went on,” Brown said. “We may have a kid that we may have to quarantine for a couple of weeks and we hope that this will never become normal. We went through losing athletes before and it is the next man up philosophy and we have to prepare for that.”
Marion County, which is the county that includes Indianapolis, had a long Wednesday. Play for schools in that area was scheduled to be pushed back to Oct. 2, but it appears that the plan is shelved for now after the announcement from the IHSAA.