The beat of Lemont High School

The Tom-Tom

The beat of Lemont High School

The Tom-Tom

The beat of Lemont High School

The Tom-Tom

Varsity girls volleyball stages walkout “protest” following elimination from IHSA postseason

Students gather on the football field to “protest” for the Lemont girls volleyball team.

On Tuesday, Oct. 24, the Lemont High School Varsity volleyball team was eliminated from the playoffs due to a mistake. According to the IHSA (Illinois High School Association),  the Lemont High School Varsity Volleyball team was disqualified from playoffs due to playing too many regular season games. Lemont played 36 regular season games while IHSA requires a maximum of 35 regular season games for playoffs. The Varsity team immediately took action both on social media and in court as well. The season officially came to an end on Thursday, October 26 after the team lost their appeal in court. 

“It was honestly an error, it was a scheduling error, it was not made by any one person and it was not intentional at all, so it was just a scheduling conflict,” Keira O’Donnell, a junior on the varsity volleyball team, said.

John Young, director of activities and athletics, made an announcement on the intercom on Tuesday during B4 asking for the varsity volleyball team to come to Head Coach Chris Zogata’s classroom for an important meeting after school. The news broke, and the team was devastated. 

“My team and I are completely devastated, because we worked really hard all season for this, and the fact that it was just taken away from us is really sad,” Jess Rimbo, a senior on the varsity team, said.

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The team staged a walkout protest on the football field on Friday, October 27 supervised by faculty and staff.

“It actually was another athlete’s idea, but I kind of ran with it, and I think my whole team thought that this was a good idea just to stand by what we believe in,” said Rimbo.

Other students were invited to participate in the walkout to support the team. Many were excited to show their support for the volleyball team during their difficult time.

“I feel empowered supporting women, their rights, and overall equality for all. I feel like it was a message that Lemont specifically really needed to spread better,” said sophomore Jaylin Ruich.

However, quite a few walked out to support John Young who has received backlash due to the unfortunate circumstances.

“[I] personally support John Young and what he does for our school. It’s a very hard job for him to do and he’s been doing it for 30 years. I feel like he just made one little mistake… Everyone makes mistakes, even adults,” said sophomore Christopher Mares.

A good portion also thought the blame lies primarily with the IHSA rather than John Young or any particular coach. 

“I feel that while it was John Young’s fault for the scheduling error, I feel more blame should be put towards the IHSA for not having mandates to record this and prevent this from happening versus having it happen and then punishing the team for it; even though it could have easily been avoided if there was a system put in place to prevent teams from playing more than 35 games. Then the athletes wouldn’t have had to go through all this.” said senior Michael Amberg.

Many believed that the IHSA is biased for only going after certain schools. 

“There are teams that are playing more than 35 games. The only reason that we got in trouble is because someone called in and complained about it, getting us caught. And everyone is saying you should have followed the rules, others’ teams aren’t following the rules either.” said freshman Jenna Gornick.

The walkout ended about an hour later with students returning to their regular schedules. Nonetheless, the walkout was a success illustrating the fact that students have a voice that can be heard if they choose to do so. Principal Eric Michaelsen sent an email concerning the walkout saying, “We respect our students’ right to participate in this protest, and appreciate them doing so in an appropriate manner.”


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About the Contributors
David Arroyo
David Arroyo, Staff Writer
David Arroyo is a senior, and this is his first year taking Journalism. He values humility and finds it pointless to brag about the many accolades and accomplishments he has done over the years. When not carrying Lemont on his back, he is out carrying JiffyLube on his back instead. He takes great pride in changing oil and not so much pride in forgetting to reinstall the occasional skid plate. On the homefront, he enjoys relaxing with his family and attempting to cook. As for his future, his dreams and aspirations remain a secret to all those but himself.
Jake Markowski
Jake Markowski, Staff Writer
Jake Markowski is senior at LHS and a first-year member of the Tom-Tom staff. He is on the autism spectrum and a type 1 diabetic. Jake is in many activities at LHS including the Scholastic Bowl Team, Student Council and Yearbook Club. He attends many sporting events and is planning to join the National Honor Society. When not in school, you can find Jake hanging out with friends, driving, riding his bike around Lemont and working at Walgreens. He also enjoys video games, trivia, writing, fantasy sports and game shows, especially “Jeopardy!”, which he hopes to be a contestant on one day. Jake is excited for all of the senior activities to come this year including senior sunrise, homecoming, prom and project graduation. After high school, Jake plans to follow his dad’s, uncle’s and grandpa’s paths by majoring in fire science, emergency medical technician (EMT) and attending paramedic school at College of DuPage to become a firefighter/paramedic.
Marcos Martinez
Marcos Martinez, Staff Writer
Marcos Martinez is starting his sophomore year and  his first year of Journalism. Marcos is a four sport athlete which includes Football, Wrestling, Track and Baseball. Marcos's favorite sport by far has to be Football which he hopes to play at the collegiate level. Marcos enjoys writing about sports, playing some pick-up basketball in his neighborhood. Marcos also enjoys fishing and happens to be a very good fisherman . Marcos is hoping to succeed this year in his Journalism class as well as all of his other classes.
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    J.R. CampNov 7, 2023 at 8:44 am

    Good for your school! Sometimes rules can be a bummer, especially those that ginger a good season, and seniors last chance at a championship.