CHICAGO — This week, they should be celebrating homecoming. Next week, they should be in the state finals. But the Chicago Teachers Strike has changed all that.
Canceled classes on Thursday is a huge blow for football players at eight CPS schools. It means they’ve lost something they worked for all season: A chance to play in the state championships.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the IHSA strike bylaws state if football practices have been terminated for seven days (excluding Sundays) a team may not compete until after three days of practice. With no school, there are no practices. Thursday will be the seventh day the teams have missed practice, so the rule is in effect.
For some, scholarships are on the line.
It’s an issue CTU vice-president Stacy Davis Gates brought up very passionately at the end of talks Wednesday.
“Look, no one remembers the math test, but everyone remembers the big game,” she said.
Or, in the case of this season, the big game they never played.
Dante Culbreath is the coach for Simeon Career Academy High School’s football team.
“It’s disheartening,” he said. “It’s very emotional to see these young men out here competing and don’t have the opportunity to finish this.”
He says he tells his players, “You don’t get do-overs in your senior year.”