The IHSAA is clinging tenaciously to the glimmer of hope for a spring sports season, even if the news that comes in moment-by-moment seems to indicate that hope is unfounded.

I applaud the effort, but not for any selfish, petty reasons – you know, like “because this is how I make my living.”

Instead, I applaud the interscholastic sports governing body in our state because, dangit, I want a reason to cheer.

There isn’t any way to sugar coat it; it sucks there isn’t any Hoosier Hysteria in the boys tournament, no March Madness, and at best a delayed countdown to baseball’s opening day.

As we reported in Saturday’s paper, the Northern Lakes Conference announced its plan for conducting an abbreviated spring season, with half of the usual 10 IHSAA-mandated preseason practice sessions and half the conference round-robin games in baseball and softball.

The athletic directors were proactive in planning such a season, and while I’ve not heard from any of the other conferences in the Times-Union coverage area, I’ve no doubt contingency plans are being made.

If the schools are able to reopen May 1 then competitions would begin, presumably, May 7 (holding fast to the existing policy of no practice on Sunday, as the IHSAA should). The first sectionals, for girls track, are May 19, followed by girls tennis on the 20th, boys track on the 21st, unified track on the 23rd, softball on the 25th, baseball on the 27th, and boys golf on June 5, per the IHSAA’s master calendar.

So other than golf, we’re looking at essentially a 2-3 week season.

And if it started to rain the last half of May, I’d be willing to offer a shoulder for all those athletic directors.  

If the spring sports season isn’t to be, maybe the IHSAA could reconsider finishing its boys tournaments.

My idea for finishing them off would be to play the regionals at the sites scheduled on May 30. Then play semistates and the finals on June 6 at the sites of the scheduled semistates with one exception; move the Elkhart semistate to a more central location, such as New Castle.

If geographical balance is such a tipping point, all four classes can be moved to the Indianapolis area; I’m sure there’s enough places to go around. I imagine the Pacers would need Banker’s Life Fieldhouse for themselves.

The big thing is we need something to cheer now, and by the time the pandemic passes, we’re going to be desperate for someone for which to cheer.

If it’s at all possible, it’d be better if we could cheer for some of the kids who represent the future of our state.

Because high school sports matters to more than the participants. It’s an integral part of American and Hoosier society, and having something that represents the best of us before autumn, if at all possible, will help us recover.