Planning a basketball tournament in the middle of a pandemic was something that I never thought I’d have to consider. But that is exactly what we, at the Waverly Holiday Tournament, started thinking about in the middle of July, 2020. The tradition of the Waverly Holiday Tournament, the players, fans, and schools involved are too important to us to not try to continue the tournament. After reaching out to all participating schools, the response was that everyone wanted to play and were willing to host games if needed. Then, Coach Whalen of Routt came up with the idea of the “Road to Waverly.” A little word play off the Final Four, but that was truly how the tournament was going to be set up. It would be played at multiple sites over four days with the championship game at the Waverly Holiday Tournament Gym. We worked diligently to figure out a schedule that would allow this form of the 70th Annual Waverly Holiday Tournament happen. Fast forward to October, guidelines changed and we were now able to host all the games with in the South County Co-op at the Waverly and Franklin Gyms. This would also allow every school to play 4 games in the 4 days of the tournament. Then mid-November hit and Illinois shut down all athletic events. This made us change our thinking from the Waverly Holiday Tournament (held after Christmas) to a tournament whenever the basketball season occurred. When the IHSA released the basketball schedule in January, we worked with all schools to plan the current tournament that will be held at the end of the season. We want to thank all the coaches, athletic directors and officials for their commitment to the tournament and their continued patience as we navigate the season. Without their dedication, this tournament would never have happened this year. Athletes, please thank your coaches and athletic directors for their commitment to all athletes of the tournament. We put this tournament on for you, but without the dedication of those individuals this year’s tournament could never have happened. We can’t wait to see how the 70th Annual Waverly Holiday Tournament will play out.
Good luck to all participating schools!
Yours in hoops,
Athletic Director of Waverly High School
While you are at the Tournament, do not forget to visit the Waverly Holiday Tournament history room. See years of tournament history, stats and photos!