ROCHELLE — There won't be youth football played in the Hub City this fall after Rochelle Junior Tackle board members announced the cancellation of the 2020 season on the organization's Facebook page Sunday evening. The decision comes after the Illinois High School Association approved its modified 2020-21 athletic schedule, which moved football to the spring season beginning Feb. 15, 2021, during its board meeting this past Wednesday.
"The Big 14 Conference met this evening to discuss the IHSA’s change in sports scheduling and the impact on our season," Rochelle Junior Tackle wrote on its Facebook page. "After discussion and voting, we will not be moving our schedule to the spring and our 2020 season is officially canceled. While we know this is not the outcome many had hoped for, the spring season scheduling wouldn't have been ideal and some of our conference teams share facilities with their local high school programs who will need to try to keep their fields in the best shape they can for their season."
The cancellation will impact all Rochelle Junior Tackle programs including tackle football, flag football, cheerleading and dance. Administrators wrote Sunday that Rochelle Junior Tackle will be processing refunds for all registered participants. The organization is optimistic that regularly scheduled activities will resume in the fall of 2021.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker released guidelines for youth sports this past Wednesday, with football cited as a high-risk sport. Under the current guidelines, high-risk sports can only conduct no-contact practices.