La Salle-Peru High School Athletic Director Dan Le said he had a pretty good idea what direction the Illinois High School Association would be going when it released guidelines and an athletic calendar for the 2020-21 school year, but it wasn't until it was official that he truly felt a little bit at ease.
"We were in on virtual meetings held over the summer with the IHSA and IADA [Illinois Athletic Directors Association], and their approach was to try and allow every sport to play. That was the main goal all along," said Le, who begins his second year at the position after spending many years at Ottawa High School.
"When we were looking at what the potential options were, the model that was released [Wednesday] was something that was discussed, so I can't say I was that surprised with the final plan.
"It's nice to have a plan in place, and I'm sure as we get close to the [winter] season the IHSA will reevaluate the situation with COVID-19 and see if it's safe to play. We don't want anyone to lose their season."
Following the IHSA's announcement Wednesday afternoon, Le said he had meetings with other Interstate Eight Conference ADs as well as L-P fall coaches as far as strategies, guidelines, and schedules moving forward.
"As far as scheduling goes, we are going to take it one season at a time with the way the new athletic calendar has come out. We are also now dealing with four sports seasons instead of the usual three, so we are going to take care of the most immediate one now, which is the fall," Le said. "In the discussions with the other I-8 ADs [on Wednesday afternoon], we aren't in any kind of panic, because many of those schedules are relatively set within the parameters already been given.
"We will obviously have to reevaluate tournaments and invites. Those typically happen on Saturdays, like an eight-team tennis or volleyball tournament or a large golf invite. We also briefly talked that we may have more of a conference cross country schedule because many of the invites in place involve many teams, some out of our [state-determined COVID-19] Region, and more than 50 people gathering."
Le said while the day's events produced much hope in athletes getting their time to shine - albeit maybe in a different time of the school year than normal – everyone has to remember change can come very quickly.
"With all this being released and discussed today, we have to remember we are still in a fluent, day-by-day situation," he said. "Things can change, adjustments may have to be made as we go. We are following the direction of the Illinois Department of Public Health, so we are just going to have to go with the flow based on how things change.
"We will control what we can control and plan what we can plan. That's really all we can do."