By Phil Brozynski
Every year you hear the same malarkey from the Illinois High School Association - it's all about the kids.
If it's all about the kids, then why does the Class 1A girls volleyball championship tip off at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning for the second consecutive year. Wasn't there talk of flip-flopping the schedule on alternate years so the small schools get their chance to play in primetime?
Instead, for the second consecutive year, the Class 4A title match will tip off Saturday at 7:45 p.m. (more likely, 8:30 p.m. or later since the combination of warm-ups and trophy presentations usually push the starting time back into the day after tomorrow).
And if it's "all about the kids," can we please not hear "Celebration" for the umpteenth millionth time during the trophy presentations? The song was recorded back in 1981, when even these kids' parents weren't old enough to vote.
Here's an idea. Why not ask the kids what they would like to hear during the trophy presentations? They do a pretty darn good job of picking out music for warmups before home games. I don't think they'll choose "Celebration."
And if it's all about the kids, maybe someday the IHSA will send the winner from a sectional other than Naperville North or Downers Grove South down to Pekin or Normal or goodness knows where for a Class 4A supersectional.
Not only would it give fans from the western suburbs a chance to actually "attend" a supersectional, it might actually give the team representing the large downstate schools a chance to "win" one.
I don't think the extra 20 or 30 miles involved will make that much difference.
And I understand November 11 is Veteran's Day (thanks, dad) and a school holiday, but if we really have the kids' best interests at heart, how hard is it to open the school doors so Payton can practice?
And if it's all about the kids, can't we stop punishing kids for living in the wrong community?
Geographic representation is fine and dandy in the U.S. Senate, but that's like saying Tampa Bay and Philadelphia should not be in the World Series together because they're in the same time zone.
Someday, the best players and the best teams will actually compete for a state title in Illinois.
Maybe in bass fishing.