Teams rush to play games hours before looming CPS teachers strike threatens chance at playoffs

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The looming Chicago teachers strike has both parents and students wondering what will happen to homecoming football games and their chances to make playoffs.

Wednesday night, two teams in Lincoln Square are hitting the field after pushing their game forward. The Von Steuben Panthers rushed to adjust their schedule to fit in the game, which was supposed to be their homecoming game against the arch rival Amundsen, just hours before teachers are set to strike.

"It shouldn't have gotten this far," said Juanita Askew. "Negotiations needed to take place."

Askew's two sons play for Amundsen, who are enjoying the best season in school's history. With a six and one record they have enough wins to make the state playoffs. The problem is, they need to play a minimum of eight games, so they needed to get Wednesday night's game in before the strike.

The strike puts coaches, many of whom are also teachers, in a difficult position.

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If the strike goes longer than a couple days it will likely mean a premature end to the football season, as well as a number of other fall sports and extracurricular activities.

Askew said she supports the teachers even if it causes problems for the football team.

"Walking out does hurt. If you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything," Askew said.

The IHSA said that CPS schools who qualify for the playoffs will be put into the brackets, but also said that if the strike is not over by October 30, those teams will have to forfeit.
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