“I’m not canceling anything right now. I’ve always been a guy who hasn’t made any irrational decisions, and that’s no different now. We’re going to do what we feel is best for Marion.”

On Friday, the IHSA trumpeted its Phase 4 that enabled sport-specific drills and longer workouts for its athletes. Instead of mere conditioning and weight-lifting workouts, players would be allowed to hoist jumpers, fire footballs at each other and loosen up their throwing arms.

Summer workouts and contact days officially started on Sunday, providing programs received permission from their administration or school boards.

“I think our volleyball team got one practice in and our football team got a practice in,” Carbondale athletic director Mark Albertini said. “We gave it a shot for a day, and now it’s suspended again.”

Football and volleyball are the two fall sports most affected by this backwards pivot. Golf, cross country and girls tennis shouldn’t be affected as much because social distancing is more natural in those sports.

The IHSA didn’t send out an official press release until 4:35 p.m. Thursday, opting instead for a series of emails to its member schools. In fact, Albertini got an email from the organization during a phone interview.

“We could get 10 more emails by next weekend,” he said. “It’s frustrating for everyone, especially the kids. You get some sense of normalcy and then it’s taken away from you. You feel real bad for the kids, but you have to do right by them.”

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