The Effingham Unit 40 School Board on Monday voted to allow winter season sports, pending any further guidance from the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). This means that boys and girls basketball, swimming, competitive cheer, and scholastic bowl will be played at Effingham High School.
The decision explicitly provides that this is contingent on IHSA allowing these sports. If IHSA reaches a decision that these sports will not be allowed, Unit 40 will follow that guidance. IHSA has previously said that winter sports can go forward, but another meeting of the association's board is scheduled for Thursday.
The Unit 40 meeting featured discussion from several students and parents, all of whom spoke in favor of allowing winter sports to be played.
“Everyone understands things are not the same as they were before and we just have to figure out how to manage it going forward. It’s not fair for our kids not to have the same opportunity other kids have in other states,” said Chad Thompson, a parent who spoke at the meeting.
The vote was nearly unanimous, with only one person, Robin Klosterman, voting no. Steve Bone, Kathleen Smith, Jane Willenborg, Jill Wendling, and Brad Waldhoff all voted yes.
“I do have some issues, though, saying COVID isn’t that serious," Klosterman said in the meeting. "Maybe that’s because we’ve had a death in our extended family from COVID. It wasn’t an elderly person, so you know, it does happen.”