November 16, 2020
Pontiac Jr. High Families,
We hope that you and your family are staying safe and healthy. We wanted to provide an update on the latest happenings regarding our extracurricular athletics. Our next season of athletics and activities include: chess, scholar bowl, boys and girls volleyball, bowling, boys and girls basketball, and cheer.
Pontiac Jr. High will continue to wait for official guidance from the IDPH, IHSA, SIJHSAA, and partnering Belle-Fair Conference schools regarding a final decision whether volleyball, bowling, basketball, and cheer will take place this season. The Illinois Department of Public Health lists basketball as a High Risk Sport, volleyball as a Medium Risk Sport, and competitive cheer and bowling being a Low Risk Sport. As a conference, we are looking into a virtual option for chess and possibly scholar bowl.
The Southern Illinois Junior High School Athletic Association (SIJHSAA) is awaiting the final decision from the IDPH regarding a start date for basketball, bowling, and volleyball, however the Belle-Fair conference has made the decision to delay the start of the basketball season that was scheduled to begin November 16th.
Volleyball will continue to aim for a tentative start date of January 4th. If volleyball activities are allowed to take place, our goal will be to hold tryouts for our boys and girls volleyball teams the first week we return from break; times will be confirmed after an official decision has been made. As of now, games are set to begin on January 21st.
Bowling will look to begin activities in the middle of February. An official start date for bowling has yet to be determined.
Scholar bowl and chess will work with the Belle-Fair conference schools to create a schedule, but an official start date has not been determined.
There is a tentative start date of March 1st for all basketball and cheer related activities; however, this is tentative and based on the IDPH’s final decision. If basketball and cheer activities are allowed to take place, we will hold tryouts for our 7th and 8th grade boys and girls basketball teams and cheer teams on March 1st and 2nd; times will be confirmed after an official decision has been made. Games would be set to begin on March 11th.
Pertaining to all activities and athletics, Pontiac Jr. High will review those guidelines as well as any other guidelines set forth by the Belle-Fair Conference, and make a decision that will keep our students safe and healthy.
Student athletes must have a current physical on file; without a current physical, your student will not be permitted to take part in the tryout process. As COVID-19 continues to make it difficult to see a physician without a scheduled appointment, it is very important that your student schedules their physical with your family physician or medical provider as soon as possible.
Additionally, students need to be in good academic standing for the tryout process. It is very important that your student stays on top of their school work.
Students will also be required to sign a “Hold Harmless” waiver, agreeing to the risks associated with COVID-19. This waiver will be finalized and sent out to families after the final decision has been made.
We hope that this email brings a beacon of hope that we will work towards an athletic season for our students. Extracurriculars are an important aspect of students' experience at our Junior Highs and it is our hope that we will be able to provide this opportunity for our students this year. As news and updates continue to reach us, we will continue to update you as well. If you have any questions at all, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We hope to see you very soon!
Brad Gotshall and Michelle Mitchell
Pontiac Jr. High co-Athletic Directors