In light of the IHSA’s recent decision to allow a one time exception to it’s rules regarding the prohibiting of club play during prep seasons, some of our area coaches are reacting to the news, including Benet Academy Girls Volleyball Coach Brad Baker and Waubonsie Boys Soccer Coach Jose Garcia in this feature story, presented by Edward-Elmhurst Health.
Did the IHSA Make the Right Choice
Brad Baker: I mean, I think it’s a good thing. It gives people a choice; it gives people an opportunity to do both if they want. If they don’t think it’s safe, they don’t have to. But everyone has the choices and has to make the decision they think is best for them.
Jose Garcia: If the IHSA does a great job with making it safe and going back in a responsible way, I’m all for it. These kids just want to play, and I get that, but we have to have some common sense about it also.
Some of those common sense elements need to come in the form of meshing practice and game schedules for the athletes participating in both. Even without a concrete idea of what a schedule will look like, both believe the task is achievable.
What a Season Will Look Like
Brad Baker: Hopefully we can manage it, it’ll definitely be different for everybody. We’re not going to expect our kids to miss these ginormous tournaments where they are going to get recruited. Nobody wants to do that. So hopefully we can just work out a balance.
Jose Garcia: I think we can collaborate together and work together to actually make this work. Because it’s not about up, it’s about the players and having them get out there and playing soccer.
One of the biggest current concerns is wear and tear on athlete’s bodies. With the potential of having more games and practices than ever before, coaches need to be diligent with safeguarding their athletes from injuries. What that boils down to is communication and teams allowing athletes to navigate both schedules safely.
Brad Baker: When push comes to shove will people really be lenient. I know we will at Benet, I don’t know if other high schools will be. I just hope that everyone is going to do what they say.
Baker vows Benet will be, Garcia echoed similar sentiments. Ultimately, both feel the decision was the correct one, considering the inverse could’ve had adverse consequences.
Jose Garcia: Parents are paying a lot of money for these clubs. You know, it’s not cheap. They look at it as an investment for these kids. When money comes into play, I think parents are always going to go toward the money.
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