COVID-19 cancels youth soccer, football in Morrison

Sprinklers were busy late Saturday afternoon watering the main football field at the Morrison Sports Complex. Even though activities have been cancelled this fall because of the pandemic, maintenance at the facility continues.
Sprinklers were busy late Saturday afternoon watering the main football field at the Morrison Sports Complex. Even though activities have been cancelled this fall because of the pandemic, maintenance at the facility continues.

MORRISON — Options for youth sports in Morrison got a little bit smaller this past week.

Kids who were planning to participate in soccer and flag football this fall will be unable to do so, as those were postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.

The latest Illinois guidelines for youth sports in Phase 4 deemed soccer and flag football as medium risk activities.

Safety concerns and a likely dip in participation were the main reasons cited for postponement at a meeting on Aug. 25 with Katie Selburg, Parks and Recreation Coordinator for the city of Morrison, mayor Everett Pannier, and the Morrison city council.

The Prophetstown Park District had postponed its fall youth sports activities the week before, while the Sterling Park District had done so in early August.

Selburg noted other entities used as a benchmark in the decision-making process were Morrison Junior Tackle, the Morrison School District, the IHSA and the IESA.

“Seeing other communities and organizations take this action let us know this was the right thing to do,” Selburg said. “We needed to fall in line.”

In 2019, there were 87 participants in soccer (pre-K through 5th grade) and 71 participants in flag football (1st through 5th grade).

Soccer nets will remain up at the Morrison Sports Complex, for those who wish to use them on their own.

Yet to be determined will be the fate of winter activities in Morrison. Boys and girls basketball (1st through 5th grade), table tennis (6th grade through adult) and co-ed volleyball (adult) are usually offered, but school facilities are used to host those activities and will need the schools’ approval.