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An outbreak of a skin condition has prematurely ended the Springfield High School wrestling season, and with it, coach Bob Nesbit's career.
Nesbit said the decision to cancel the Senators' Class 2A Mahomet-Seymour Dual Team Sectional match Tuesday night against Cahokia was made Monday following a doctor confirming a contagious "condition" on one or more SHS wrestlers. Nesbit said he did not want to compromise health-care privacy laws and could not elaborate on the exact nature of the condition or the number of wrestlers affected.
Springfield High forfeited, and Cahokia will advance to the Class 2A dual team state tournament Saturday at U.S. Cellular Arena in Bloomington.
Springfield was No. 8 in the Class 2A team rankings on the IllinoisMatMen.com website while Cahokia was No. 20.
The decision not to replace the affected wrestlers with junior varsity members was an easy one, according to the coach who had previously said he was going to retire after this season.
"I'm not putting an inexperienced wrestler in there just to have a body be there," Nesbit said. "It's ridiculous to put a kid in with no experience going against a team with sectional winners and state qualifiers."
Springfield High notified the Illinois High School Association on Tuesday of the decision.
This isn't the first time a skin condition has plagued the Senators, but it's only happened twice in Nesbit's 30 seasons as coach. The other time came last year when the program was shuttered for two weeks.
"We didn't want to make it worse by being stubborn," Nesbit said of why the team decided early to forfeit.
While Nesbit said it didn't hit him that his career would end that way until after he informed the athletes, he said he was more saddened by "seeing the disappointment on their faces."
With a short turnaround from Tuesday's sectional until Saturday's dual team state tournament, Nesbit said there was no way to ask for an extra day or two to see if the condition would clear up.