By Christopher Johnson


Attempting to keep things in perspective is exactly how student athletes with the Pecatonica School District are working through the second sports season of the school year.

The fall games were re-scheduled, to commence in mid-February, 2021. At this point those games are still going to be played, uninhibited, unless authorities such as the Department of Public Health or Governor JB Pritzker determine differently.

The winter season was set to begin next week with the first basketball games of the new school year. But, that will not happen.

It has been decided that due to a high-risk categorization and in an attempt to knock down infectious invader COVID-19 from future influence, the start of the basketball and wrestling seasons had to be canceled.

It has to be safety first, even if it means missing a chance to play and Pecatonica Athletic Director Kevin Kunkel said that’s been the hard truth.

Kunkel stressed that staying patient is the best way his students have found when it comes to dealing with the challenge of not really knowing if they will get a chance to take the court for the home team.

The not-knowing has been one of the hardest parts for many football players, volleyballers, wrestlers and basketball players. It’s affected a lot of people, but the kids are managing it, according to Kunkel.

“I think for the most part, the kids are holding up pretty good. They want to play and want to be active. But we have to stay within guidelines.”

All winter activities that are considered high-risk have been pushed off with only specific individuals and teams allowed to take part in any winter play.

Boys Swimming & Diving, Cheerleading, Dance, Boys & Girls Bowling and Girls Gymnastics are still on schedule to begin Monday, Nov. 30.

Another loss relating to game play missed is more financially focused, the Pecatonica Athletic Director explained.

Revenue that would have been raised at home volleyball matches and tournaments, or at the gate for a Friday night football game is temporarily unavailable, he said.

“A lot of money isn’t going out either. We are not paying for officials or workers. That helps. So, we should be ok. Moving into next year, there might be budget issues.”

Dollars collected during the winter for wrestling meets and conference basketball games will not be added to next year’s budget.

There is no plan currently available that could help school districts replace the funding that will be lost with basketball not being played.

Even though a lot of things remain unclear, Kunkel said he and his coaches have continued to communicate and work as if everything would be greenlighted in 2021.

“We are going to do things as we would before any new year. We set up our conference schedule for football and volleyball already. We will plan is if we will go on with a normal year in 2021.”

The most recent allowances issued by the Illinois High School Association are available online. If interested in staying up to date with the latest rulings and determinations, go online to


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