An Illinois high school sports coach has mixed feelings about the state’s new guidelines on high school athletics.

Peter Medlin

Running is more than exercise, it’s therapy. That’s what Jonah Garcia says. So he’s training now harder than ever. Garcia’s a senior distance runner on Auburn High School’s track & field team in Rockford.

Like so many spring athletes, Jonah had his final high school season stolen by the COVID-19 pandemic. He says he was feeling good about the season and had personal records he figured he could easily break.

“I was hoping to go Division-1 and maybe try and get a scholarship based off of my times this year,” he said.

Illinois High School Association

Northern Illinois University hosts the Illinois High School Association State Football Championships Thanksgiving weekend.

This is the fourth time that Northern Illinois University has hosted the championship.  They’ve alternated this duty with the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign since 2013.

Brad Hoey is on the IHSA Destination DeKalb Hosting Committee. He said the arrangement lines up with team geography.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

An Illinois watchdog group takes a case against the Illinois High School Association to the state's highest court Tuesday. That’s regarding whether IHSA is subject to the state’s Freedom of Information Act.

Football Championships Bring $800K To DeKalb Area

Jan 26, 2016

Tourism officials say last year's Illinois high school football championship brought an economic boost of about $800,000 to the DeKalb area.  
 The DeKalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau says more than 22,000 people visited DeKalb the weekend of Nov. 27 and 28 when the Illinois High School Association held the championship. Officials say 465 hotel rooms were booked in DeKalb and Sycamore.  
 The(DeKalb Daily Chronicle reports that restaurant owners say they saw a 35 to 50 percent bump in business.  


Days after an Illinois high school student died from football injuries, a Cook County judge dismissed a lawsuit alleging the sports' governing body didn't do enough to protect athletes.

There have been lawsuits against the NFL, but the one brought against the Illinois High School Association a year ago was the first class action suit against a prep sports governing body.

A former South Elgin High School lineman, Alex Pierscionek, says he suffers from memory loss after getting concussions in games; he alleges the IHSA fails to protect athletes.

Destination DeKalb

The estimates are in for last year's Illinois High School Association state football championships held Nov. 29-30 at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb.

Daily Chronicle - IHSA Destination DeKalb Economic Impact Recap

Debbie Armstrong, Executive Director for the DeKalb County Convention & Visitors Bureau, provided WNIJ the recap of revenue generated from the event. It includes: