CPS football teams allowed to practice Wednesday as playoffs loom

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CHICAGO — Canceled classes have been a huge blow for football players at many CPS schools.

However on Wednesday, CPS reportedly allowed the 19 teams that have qualified for the playoffs to practice.

According to Illinois High School Association rules, a team made idle by a strike which lasts more than one week must practice for three days before it can compete.

The strike has to be settled by Friday in order for athletes to compete in the state playoffs. On Wednesday night at 6 p.m., CTU’s House of Delegates will presumably vote on CPS’ latest offer to end the strike.

“Chicago Public Schools football teams may not compete in their IHSA Football Playoff games scheduled for Saturday, November 2 unless the strike is settled. An exact timeline for determining the forfeit deadline will be announced later this week,” the IHSA said in a statement.

The damage has already been done for CPS’ golf, soccer, tennis and cross-country athletes. Thousands of those athletes had to forfeit in the playoffs last week.

“Regionals was taken away and our city meet was taken away,” Jones College Prep runner Ian Vacon said.

However on Nov. 7 at Montrose Harbor, cross-country runners will become in an alternative experienced called the City-State meet.

For some Simeon football players, scholarships are on the line.

It’s an issue CTU vice-president Stacy Davis Gates brought up very passionately last week.

“Look, no one remembers the math test, but everyone remembers the big game,” she said.

Or, in the case of this season, there’s a chance they’ll never play in the big game.

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.”

Simeon is scheduled to play Lakes Community High School from Lake Villa at home on Nov. 2.


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