CPS will allow athletes to begin practicing on Monday

Sports have been shut down in CPS since early March due to the coronavirus.

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Marine’s Isaac Thorton (25) takes down Phoenix’s Jamon Gooden (2) in a game last season. Chicago Public Schools will allow athletes to return to practice on Monday.

Marine’s Isaac Thorton (25) takes down Phoenix’s Jamon Gooden (2) in a game last season. Chicago Public Schools will allow athletes to return to practice on Monday.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Chicago Public Schools athletes will be allowed to begin practicing on Monday. Sports have been shut down in CPS since early March due to the coronavirus.

The Illinois High School Association gave the OK to begin socially distanced workouts on June 6. But each individual school district had to approve the move. While most school districts around the state eventually got started, CPS has been waiting.

CPS sent an email to principals, athletic directors and coaches announcing the restart on Wednesday.

According to the email, CPS schools “may begin summer sports programming for student-athletes during the week of Monday, July 13.”

Perspectives football player Jaden Stewart said he was “amazed and happy” to get the news.

CPS has told schools to abide by the IHSA’s return-to-play guidelines. The majority of activities should take place outdoors. Social distancing and daily temperature checks are mandatory.

“We have been patient, but Monday will be a wonderful day,” Kenwood football coach Sinque Turner said.

CPS says it will provide two masks for each student and coach. Each school will decide if it has the “capacity to implement these requirements.”

“I talked to the principal yesterday and we have the administration’s full support,” Turner said. “I understand why it was going slow with CPS. Just because of the size of the district. It wouldn’t look right if we started too early without a plan and had a bunch of kids infected. They did a real good job being patient. That’s the reason Illinois is doing so well as a state.”

Turner has been impressed with how his athletes responded to the delay.

“They’ve been really driven,” Turner said. “They don’t want to disappoint. They haven’t been sitting on the couch getting fat. They haven’t used the delay as an excuse. They took advantage of the parks being opened up to workout on their own.”

Private high schools around the area and in Chicago have been working out for more than a month.

“Phillips [plays] Mount Carmel Week 2 and those schools aren’t too far apart,” Young football coach Dan Finger said. “So having different practice rules doesn’t seem fair.”

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