Flu Outbreak Forces Cancellation of HS Hoops Games

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Chicago Daily Herald


Awaiting their third game against each other in 43 days, the boys basketball teams from St. Charles East and St. Charles North will have to wait a little longer for another matchup.

Saturday's scheduled girls and boys basketball doubleheader at St. Charles North was postponed due to unforeseen circumstances.

According to the St. Charles Community Unit District 303 posting on Facebook late Saturday morning, "East at North Basketball Game Postponed: Several student-athletes at St. Charles East High School have come down with flu-like symptoms. As a result, tonight's girls and boys basketball games at North High School will be postponed to a later date."

St. Charles East's boys basketball team seemed to be affected the most by the sudden rash of illnesses.

"We had one kid who was sick last night," said Saints coach Patrick Woods, whose team traveled to Chicago's west side and scored a 71-57 nonconference victory over Foreman. "Today, 10 of the 14 guys on the team are sick.

"I woke up to numerous text messages and emails received from players not feeling well and their parents saying their kids were suffering from flu-like symptoms. We initially thought that it might be related to food poisoning since we're often together but that doesn't seem to be the case. There were other teams affected as well."

After talking with parties on both sides, including St. Charles East athletic director Mike Sommerfeld and principal Charlie Kyle, the schools decided to postpone Saturday's basketball doubleheader.

"We had some kids who had gotten sick earlier this morning and word started spreading around others were as well," said Sommerfeld. "This (decision) makes sense for everybody."

St. Charles East girls basketball coach Lori Drumtra agreed with the decision.

"You have to look at the bigger picture," said Drumtra. "I'd rather be cautious."

According to Drumtra, a few members of her team also have been fighting flu-like symptoms the past couple days.

"We have but not to the extent of the boys team," she said. "I've heard back from four of the 11 girls so it's definitely happening. And we don't have a real big (varsity) team to begin with (11 players)."

A few St. Charles North basketball players were absent from practices this past week.

"Four guys missed practices two of the four days because they weren't feeling well," said North Stars coach Tom Poulin, whose team lost a 67-62 double-overtime decision at Geneva Friday night.

The cancellation of high school sporting events is rare except for weather-related postponements.

"This is a first for me and I've been doing this for 12 years," said Sommerfeld.

"I've seen it before where one or two guys were sick and then it (virus) traveled through the rest of the team but never like this," said Woods.

Both games will be rescheduled.

"Dan (Dolney) and I will look at everything Monday morning," said Sommerfeld, referring to SCN athletic director Dan Dolney.

According to the district's Facebook page, Dr. Jason Pearson, the District 303 Deputy Superintendent/6-12 Education, and Mr. Kyle, "are collecting additional information from parents to see how extensive this is."

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January 9, 2017


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