Winnetka, News

News Briefs: IHSA ends state tournaments for boys gymnastics, debate; Glencoe outlines July 4 plans; Wilmette police department finishes rollout of body-worn cameras

The Illinois High School Association board of directors voted Monday, June 12 to discontinue both the boys gymnastics state series and the IHSA debate state series, according to a press release from the organization. 

The board cited an existing policy as the reasoning for its decision, saying that “a sport or activity state series tournament will no longer be held when the state series has less than seven percent of member schools entering a team.”

“This was a difficult decision that comes after significant discussion and a diligent review of historic data and participation trends,” IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said in the release. 

Anderson added that both gymnastics and debate fell below seven percent “several years ago” but that the board opted to provide a “grace period” with the hope that both might “experience a rejuvenation after the pandemic.” 

According to the IHSA, the inaugural debate state finals were held in 1941, while the boys gymnastics state finals debuted during the 1951-1952 school year.

New Trier won the first IHSA boys gymnastics team state championship in 1952, per the IHSA. Lake Park High School captured the 2023 title, making the Lancers the last team to do so. According to the IHSA, Hinsdale Central won more team titles than any other school with nine. 

Boys gymnastics has averaged slightly over 50 schools participating in the state series each year for the last two-decades plus, per the IHSA. Officials noted that the number decreased to 46 teams in 2022 and 40 teams in 2023. Debate saw 39 schools take part in 2021-22 after averaging 49 schools the last 13 years, the release says. The IHSA currently has 817 member schools, per the release.  

“There is undoubtedly a level of disappointment that we feel for the impacted students and coaches,” Anderson said. “Yet, we also recognize that we must adapt in order to provide opportunities for as many students as possible. We reflect with great pride and appreciation for all that was accomplished during these chapters when the IHSA oversaw the boys gymnastics and debate state tournaments.”

The IHSA also said that debate evolved over time from two students competing in the policy debate category to include a Lincoln and Douglas debate category in 1986, a Congressional debate category in 2002 and a public forum debate category in 2005.

New Trier alumnus Danny Parkins, who is co-host of the popular “Parkins and Spiegel” afternoon sports radio talk show on 670 The Score in Chicago, won the inaugural public forum debate state title in 2005, per the release.

Glencoe outlines July 4 plans

Officials from the village of Glencoe and the Glencoe Park District recently released details for the community’s July 4 plans. Festivities in Glencoe will take place over two days. 

The fun will get underway at 5 p.m. on July 3 at Lakefront Park with the Glencoe Park District’s Party in the Park. The event will include games, live music, food trucks and beer/wine sales and will run until 10 p.m.

Residents pack the street for food and live music in Glencoe on Sunday, July 3.

The village’s fireworks display over Lake Michigan will also take place at 9 p.m. on July 3 and officials recommend viewing from Lakefront Park. Officials also said that the Park Avenue overlook will not be accessible to view the fireworks this year. 

Festivities will start early on July 4 as the park district’s Rotary Fun Run kicks off at 8 a.m. at the Glencoe Train Station. The race is free but registration in advance is encouraged. 

From 9 -11:30 a.m.,local families can visit Kalk Park for games and patriotic fun with the park district. 

Glencoe’s annual Independence Day Parade starts at 1 p.m. on its usual route through downtown Glencoe. 

“Safety is our top priority. In response to the events that occurred at the Highland Park Fourth of July Parade in 2022, Glencoe Public Safety plans to increase our visibility, surveillance, and patrol before, during and after the parade and all other Fourth of July events,” village officials said in a news release. 

Wilmette police department completes its rollout of body-worn cameras

Wilmette Village Manager Mike Braiman told trustees during the board’s Tuesday, June 13 meeting that all sworn police officers in Wilmette now have body-worn cameras that are visible on their chests.

These cameras will turn on any time the police is involved in activity with the community, residents or visitors, Braiman said. 

Additionally, as part of that rollout, Braiman said Wilmette’s police department will now be able to utilize this additional technology in police squad cars, as license plate reading will now be available through those cameras.

Wilmette recently installed stationary license plate readers at “core entry points into (the) community that help (Wilmette)  identify stolen vehicles that are either entering or exiting the community, individuals who may be missing or other criminal activity,” Braiman said. 

“This will be another great technological tool for our police department to help keep our residents safe,” he said.


This article was developed using publicly available information, such as press releases, municipal records and social media posts.

Related Stories