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AD’s put in work to provide students normalcy

Published: Aug. 31, 2020 at 8:39 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Athletic events look a lot different now than they did this past spring.

Competitions are limited to 50 people total including athletes, coaches and officials and schools in the stateline can no longer travel east of Boone County or south of Lee County.

But that is not stopping athletic directors like Jefferson’s Darrin Sisk from giving students that big event feel.

The J-Hawks still hosted their annual cross country invite this weekend with fewer runners on the course and only coaches watching from the sidelines.

Sisk says its unfortunate for students not to be able to match up with athletes from all across Illinois, but, in a pandemic, it’s nice to at least have something.

“Cross country is a great opportunity for schools of all sizes to come together,” said Sisk. “We obviously lost a few schools this year because they were outside of our COVID region and we have to focus on competing against those teams inside our COVID region. We had a couple schools from Elgin and a couple other schools that were outside of our area so it’s a smaller event, but the goal again was to make sure we run the event and give our kids a chance to be as normal as they can.”

That feeling of normalcy is very important to Sisk. It comes second only to his athletes’ safety.

“We wanted to make sure in this crazy environment that we’re in, we still have an opportunity to get our kids a chance to compete,” Sisk said. “The kind of things we were looking at was find ways to shorten the event, there’s not as much time between races, we stacked the two boys events where in the past we might run the girls in between. We’re looking to the teams that were here with just boys to give them a chance to get here, run and then go ahead and go back home.”

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