By: Keith Klein (Photo: WRTV)
The City of Whiting School Board voted, unanimously, to cancel high school fall sports for the 2020-21 school year because of COVID-19.
The team was within two weeks of their 100th football season, and they are understandably dejected.
Whiting is now the fifth northwest Indiana school to cancel football. The School City of Hammond pulled the plug on fall contact sports Aug. 4.
Whiting football coach Brett Jennings was extremely saddened by the School Board’s cancellation, but he knew all along that it was a possibility.
“While I’m devastated there’s no football on the lakefront for the first time in 100 years, I am supportive of the decision,” Jennings wrote. “I know they didn’t take this decision lightly.”
Whiting School Board Trustee Christine Stribiak said she and her counterparts struggled with the choice to cancel fall sports. But in the long run, she believes they made the right decision.
“I understand that there are kids who are looking for scholarships, and this is going to ruin some hopes and dreams,” Stribiak said. “But I’d rather have safe and alive students than kids who are so sick that they can never play again in their lives.”
The 2020 prep football season is set to begin Aug. 21, and the IHSAA has shown no indication of straying from that start date.
Campgrounds across Indiana are heavily booked this summer following months of restrictions during the pandemic.
Theresa Rody, Interpretive Manager at Mississinewa Lake, said the nearly 500 overnight camping sites at the lake have been booked almost every weekend this year. She said, most seasons camping areas are entirely booked only a few times a year. She estimated up to 40% of the bookings, this year, are first-time campers.
John Cardwell, owner of the Hidden Creek Campground near Peru, said within weeks of opening, the members-only campground,all sites had been booked for the season.
The uptick in demand is across the board at Indiana campgrounds. State recreational areas are also seeing high demand.