Huskies remain motivated with NIC-10 title as sole prize
MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WIFR) - There may only be four high school sports competing this fall, but starting this week the IHSA began allowing all teams to get back into the gym or on the field and resume normal practices.
Harlem boys basketball is one of those teams taking advantage of the 20 added contact days provided by the IHSA through the end of October.
Head coach Mike Winters says his players might be behind on conditioning, but they will use the next month and a half to get into proper shape.
Huskies senior Dominic Dawsey says it’s going to be odd playing in front of no fans this winter, but the All-NIC-10 guard will take what he can get.
“It feels weird, but we’re just going to keep working," said Dawsey. "We’re going to take advantage of the time we have to get ready for the season and just be prepared.”
“For me, it’s really exciting," said Winters. "We’ve never been able to do this in the fall before and to be able to have control over our workouts. Normally this time of year, we’re rolling the balls out and we’re playing an open gym and the kids are in control of it. From that standpoint, it’s a huge plus. We’ve got to throw a mask on, but other than that we’re basically running full practices.”
The Huskies and the rest of the NIC-10 will still play a full 18 game conference schedule. However, with the limitations of only two match-ups per week, it leaves only two dates open for non-NIC-10 games.
Winters says that will put a lot more emphasis on those classic stateline rivalries.
“I think everybody will be a little more passionate about it," Winters said. "There’s some great rivalries in our league already and now you don’t get out to play tournaments and things like that so everything is really riding on those conference games.”
“We have less to look forward to going different places to play different games and stuff like that, but at the same time we’ll get more days to be in here with each other, to learn from each other and just get better as a whole,” said junior Lathan Lewis.
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