More rallies for in-person learning, fall sports planned for Saturday in Chicago, Springfield

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CHICAGO — Two more rallies to support a return to in-person learning and fall sports are planned for Saturday in Chicago and Springfield.

As many schools in surrounding midwestern states have began high school football and in-person learning, suburban students and parents rallied to go back to school.

One advocate for youth sports pointed to surrounding states as a reason Illinois should get back on the field.

“There has been thousands of football games over the past few weeks. There hasn’t been one case pointed back to the football game being the community spreader,” Joe Trost said.

Trost said that sports ultimately involve much more than wins or losses, and that they keep children physically and mentally healthy.

“We don’t want to get too far down the line and realize that we made a mistake,” Trost said.

The Illinois High School Association gave up control over the state of play to the state of Illinois in July, due to restrictions announced by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker. The decision moved several fall sports, including football and girls’ volleyball, to the spring.

IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson penned a letter to Pritzker last week, asking for the organization to regain control of planning a return.

The letter noted that neighboring states have resumed high-risk sports like football successfully, but did not lay out any proposed timeline to return.

Trost believes the IHSA will hear from the state very soon.

Pritzker has a scheduled event on Tuesday, but no decision on high school sports has been announced.

Saturday’s rally in Chicago will take place at the Thompson Center.

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