Homeschooled Athletes at Immanuel

Liam Carr, Editor-In-Chief

On Nov. 23, Immanuel Lutheran Christian Academy (ILCA) made a re-interpretation of a former rule for all sports programs. According to the Heartland Christian Athletic Association (HCAA), all schools can allow any homeschooled students to participate in a school’s athletic program. This affects all middle school and high school sports immediately. The homeschooled athletes will have to pay a higher fee to play the sport than students who attend ILCA. There will also be a limit as to how many homeschooled athletes are on a team.

“We don’t want our teams to become homeschooled teams. This is still Immanuel, we want our teams to be Immanuel teams. We do realize that sometimes we need help especially when it comes to having enough people to have a team,” Immanuel Athletic Director Taylor Mueller said.

ILCA will be charging the homeschooled athletes higher fees to play because they do not pay for tuition, books, or anything else because they do not attend Immanuel. Also, other HCAA schools charge the homeschooled athletes more than their students.

Head football coach Billy Daves was ecstatic when he heard the news.

“I think that allowing homeschooled students to participate in ILCA athletics is a positive step for our school as a whole,” said coach Billy Daves.

Coach Daves is glad to give new athletes at this school an opportunity to play and he is looking forward to the recruiting process with homeschoolers. Many coaches are excited for this news and are already planning on adding some homeschoolers to the teams. Some athletes have different opinions on the topic.

“I really like the new rule. I like knowing that we can have more guys on the team. If it helps the team I’m all for it, but I would probably get a little upset if someone who does not go to school here plays more than me. They can practice more than me but I guess that just motivates me to work harder,” freshman basketball player Simon Stevens said.

Recently the middle school boys basketball team added a homeschool athlete to their team. Most of the players are excited to have him on our team.

“We are so thankful that AJ is on our team, he is really good,” sixth grader Warwick Patit fifth grader Luke Yahola, and sixth grader Kai O’brock agreed.

Headmaster Stephen Zender is a big fan of the new recruiting tool.

“I look forward to this because it can really strengthen our numbers on teams. Looking down the road this could really help us have junior varsity teams, and having more kids means more teams which would really help our athletics here at Immanuel,” Stephen Zehnder said.

Many people are looking forward to seeing ILCA’s sports program grow, and this new way of recruiting will be a huge help for Immanuel.